Environmental pollution results from contamination of air, soil and water with the dioxins, which represent various biological activities. Teeth show increased susceptibility to caries and can also become weak and brittle.
Certain chemicals present in the air lead to pathological attrition and consecutive pulp chamber perforations and various abnormalities of dentin and enamel.
They may also disturb maturation of the enamel matrix and inhibit development of the crowns and roots.
There is also evidence that dioxins cause an accumulation of iron, which results in characteristic brown and yellowish discoloration of teeth, especially the front teeth.
It has also been proved that pollutants can lead to calcium and phosphate disturbances which eventually affect the hardness of the dental tissues of the teeth.
Exposure during pregnancy causes an increase in the eruption rate of the incisor or the front teeth, delays in molar tooth eruption and common absence of third molars or wisdom teeth, premature teeth eruption, impaired mineralisation and hypodontia or less number of teeth.
Positive correlation has been identified between the occurrence of dental caries and environmental factors like level of carbon oxide, magnesium, silicon, iron, aluminum and copper.
Chlorine plays a major role in the most crucial environmental problems which we face today — it causes pigmentation on the teeth and softening of enamel which leads to the chipping or destruction of teeth.
(The authors are doctors at Dentem)