The development of dental hard tissues involves a very intricate mechanism beginning in utero and continuing up to the first few years of life. The developmental processes involved at the cellular level are extremely sensitive to genetic and environmental factors. Any systemic disturbance during this period is thus likely to affect the developing dentition manifesting as a wide spectrum of defects in the enamel, dentin, or overall tooth morphology. Clinically, these often present as discoloration causing aesthetic concerns, tooth sensitivity, increased caries susceptibility, the risk for pulpal involvement, and its sequelae. Various authors have attempted to identify the range of environmental stressors that lead to such defects, but no definite etiology has yet been established. Further research is warranted to better understand these entities, improving their predictability and thus, aiding in timely diagnosis and successful treatment of the defects.
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