Amelogenesis imperfecta

From Dog

Amelogenesis imperfecta is an autosomal-recessive dental disease of dog characterized by abnormal enamel formation[1].

This disease is caused by malfunction of the enamel proteins ameloblastin, enamelin, tuftelin and amelogenin[2].

A breed predisposition has been noted in the Standard Poodle[3].

Clinically affected dogs present with discolored teeth.

Diagnosis is based on radiographic evidence of imperfect enamel formation and histological examination of teeth, which usually show enamel containing large amounts of organic matrix and poorly mineralized enamel.

A differential diagnosis would include odontodystrophy due to canine distemper virus[4].

There is no treatment for this condition, but symptoms are usually mild in most dogs. In some patients, this condition may lead to pulpitis and death of the affected tooth or teeth. Dentin sensitivity is a concern, especially if multiple teeth are affected.


  1. Wiggs RB & Lobprise HB (1997) Veterinary dentistry: principles and practice. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Raven Publishers. pp:107
  2. Gruenbaum-Cohen Y et al (2009) Amelogenin in cranio-facial development: the tooth as a model to study the role of amelogenin during embryogenesis. J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol 312B(5):445-457
  3. Mannerfelt T & Lindgren I (2009) Enamel defects in standard poodle dogs in Sweden. J Vet Dent 26(4):213-215
  4. Dubielzig RR et al (1981) Lesions of the enamel organ of developing dog teeth following experimental inoculation of gnotobiotic puppies with canine distemper virus. Vet Pathol 18(5):684-689