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Tetracycline-Induced Discoloration of Deciduous Teeth: Case Series

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Tetracycline was the choice of antibiotic in some of the life-threatening bacterial infections. Due to its adverse effects and ability to cross-placental barrier, its use is contraindicated in pregnancy and in children. This is a case series of four patients with tetracycline-induced discoloration in primary teeth. How to cite the article: Vennila V, Madhu V, Rajesh R, Ealla KKR, Velidandla SR, Santoshi S. Tetracycline induced discoloration of deciduous teeth: Case series. J Int Oral Health 2014;6(3):115-9.
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115
Journal of International Oral Health 2014; 6(3):115-119Tetracycline discoloration in deciduous teeth… Vennila V et al
Case Report
Received: 4th December 2013 Accepted: 8thMarch2014 ConictofInterest:None
SourceofSupport:Nil
Tetracycline-Induced Discoloration of Deciduous Teeth: Case Series
VijayasreeVennila1,VasapalliMadhu2,RRajesh3,KrantiKiranReddyEalla4,SurekhaReddyVelidandla4,SSantoshi5
Contributors:
1Assistant Professor, Department of General Pathology, Kamineni
Institute of Medical Sciences, Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh, India;
2Professor & Head, Department of Paediatric and Preventive
Dentistry, KLR’S Lenora Institute of Dental Sciences, East
Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India; 3Senior Lecturer, Department
of Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry, KLR’S Lenora Institute of
Dental Sciences, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India; 4Senior
Lecturer, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, MNR
Dental College, Sangareddy, Andhra Pradesh, India; 5Senior
Lecturer, Department of Prosthodontics, MNR Dental College,
Sangareddy, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Correspondence:
Dr. Ealla KKR. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology,
MNR Dental College, Sangareddy, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Phone: +919849409070. Email: drekkr@yahoo.co.in
Howtocitethearticle:
Vennila V, Madhu V, Rajesh R, Ealla KKR, Velidandla SR,
Santoshi S. Tetracycline induced discoloration of deciduous teeth:
Case series. J Int Oral Health 2014;6(3):115-9.
Abstract:
Tetracycline was the choice of antibiotic in some of the life-
threatening bacterial infections. Due to its adverse eects and
ability to cross-placental barrier, its use is contraindicated in
pregnancy and in children. This is a case series of four patients with
tetracycline-induced discoloration in primary teeth.
KeyWords: Primary teeth, stains, tetracycline
Introduction
Invention of antibiotics has revolutionized the battle against
bacterial infections. Self-medication and inappropriate
administration by a regional medical practitioner is widely
practiced in many parts of India without the knowledge of its
adverse eects, indications, and contraindications. This may be
crucial in drugs crossing placental barrier and in initial stages
of organogenesis. Tetracycline is one such group of antibiotics.
Tetracycline group of antibiotics were discovered in 1945
and administered in 1948.1 Tetracycline is a broad-spectrum
antibiotic that crosses placental barrier.2 Tetracycline was the
rst line of therapy in treating infections caused by Mycoplasma
pneumoniae, chlamydiae, rickettsia, and some spirochaetes.3 It
has a wide range of adverse eects and is known for a unique
property of being incorporated into skeletal and dental tissues
at sites of active mineralization and staining of these tissues.
Under ultraviolet irradiation, the tissues exhibit uorescence,
a characteristic feature of tetracycline molecule. Because of
these adverse eects, its administration is contraindicated
during pregnancy.4 Various awareness programs were started
to reduce the use of tetracycline, which resulted in decline in
the occurrence of tetracycline stains. This is a unique case series
of tetracycline staining in primary teeth.
Case Reports
Case1
A 7-year-old female patient reported to Department of Pediatric
Dentistry, with a complaint of discoloration of teeth since
childhood. Mother presented history of usage of tetracycline
(resteclin) drug during the 1st-3rd month of pregnancy, which
was prescribed by a regional medical practitioner for fever
(Figures 1-5).
On examination, there was a generalized grayish to yellow brown
discoloration seen in the cervical middle and incisal regions
of primary maxillary and mandibular teeth. All the teeth were
stained except 51 and 61. Stains were not scrapable by dental
explorer or a scaler. The stains uoresced when observed under
ultraviolet (UV) light. For further investigation 61 was extracted
Figure 1a: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary anterior teeth.
Figure 1b: Orthopantomogram image of teeth with normal
enamel, dentin and bony patterns.
116
Journal of International Oral Health 2014; 6(3):115-119
Tetracycline discoloration in deciduous teeth… Vennila V et al
as the tooth was mobile and the tooth sections were sent for
ground section examination under uorescent microscopy.
Fluorescent microscopy images showed clear discrete
uorescent bands, which were restricted to the dentin alone
Figure 2: Ground section tooth under uorescent microscopy
×2 magnication shows distinct continuous uorescent bands.
Figure 3: Ground section tooth under uorescent microscopy
×4 magnication shows distinct continuous uorescent bands.
Figure 4a: Ground section tooth under uorescent microscopy
×10 magnication shows alternative uorescent bands at the
incisal edge with haziness at the junction.
Figure 5a: Ground section tooth under uorescent microscopy
×40 magnication shows alternative uorescent wavy bands.
Figure 5b: Ground section tooth under uorescent microscopy
×40 magnication shows alternative uorescent wavy bands.
Figure 4b: Ground section tooth under uorescent microscopy
×10 magnification shows alternative fluorescent bands
following the contour of teeth.
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Journal of International Oral Health 2014; 6(3):115-119Tetracycline discoloration in deciduous teeth… Vennila V et al
under low magnication. Under higher magnication, the bands
were continuous, wavy with varying thickness. These bands
represent the timing of administration of the drug. Since, it was
continuous; we could conclude that the drug was administered
continuously through the time of calcication of the dentin.
The history of extensive tetracycline therapy during her
pregnancy, yellow to brownish discoloration, uorescence,
clinical examination, and other investigations suggest that the
discoloration of teeth may be due to tetracycline.
Case2
A 6-year-old male patient reported to Department of Pediatric
Dentistry, with a complaint of pain in the left upper teeth. On
examination, 61 was missing, and dental caries was noted in 55
and 65. There was a generalized grayish discoloration of anterior
teeth and yellowish discoloration of posterior teeth, which could
be graded as moderate tetracycline staining. Child presented
with a history of trauma a year back wherein 51 was avulsed.
Stains were not scrapable by dental explorer or a scaler. The stains
observed under UV light revealed uorescence. Child’s mother
didn’t present proper history regarding the usage of medications
during her pregnancy. Pulp therapy was done in relation to 55
and 65. No treatment was done to restore esthetics (Figure 6).
Case3
An 8-year-old male patient reported to Department of Pediatric
Dentistry for a dental checkup. The child was in mixed dentition
stage with permanent maxillary incisors and first molar,
mandibular incisors and rst permanent molars erupted. All
teeth were present, and 53 was carious. There was yellowish
discoloration of primary posterior teeth, which could be graded
as moderate tetracycline staining, and interestingly permanent
rst molars, which could be graded as mild degree. Stains were
not scrapable by dental explorer or a scaler. The stains were
observed under UV light, which revealed uorescence. On
questioning, child’s parents gave a history of regular asthmatic
attacks for which he has been using medication. However,
parents didn’t present proper history regarding the usage of
medications during her pregnancy. No treatment was implicated
except for restoring 53 with glass ionomer cement (Figure 7).
Case4
A 7-year-old male patient reported to Department of Pediatric
Dentistry for a dental checkup. The child had mixed dentition
with permanent maxillary incisors and all rst molars erupted.
All teeth were present except for 52. There was a yellowish
discoloration of primary posterior teeth, which could be graded
as moderate tetracycline staining. Stains were not scrapable by
dental explorer or a scaler. The stains were observed under UV
light, which revealed uorescence (Figure 8).
Differential diagnosis includes alkaptonuria, biliary
atresia, congenital erythropoietic porphyria, congenital
hyperbilirubinemia, dentinogenesis imperfect, erythroblastis
fetalis, enamel hypoplasia, uorosis, and neonatal hepatitis.
Tetracycline stains are usually not associated with any hypoplastic
defect. Treatment is aimed primarily on esthetics. Esthetic
management was not done in the above cases as the teeth were
near to exfoliation. Parental and child counseling was done.
Discussion
Discoloration of teeth was reported in children who were on
long-term tetracycline therapy. The occurrence of tetracycline
stains in primary teeth is not reported quite often. The last case
report published was two decades ago. However, there are no
Figure 6a: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary anterior and posterior teeth.
Figure 6b: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary anterior and posterior teeth.
Figure 6c: Orthopantomogram image of teeth with normal
enamel, dentin and bony patterns.
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Journal of International Oral Health 2014; 6(3):115-119
Tetracycline discoloration in deciduous teeth… Vennila V et al
Yellow-staining of bones and teeth caused by tetracycline
has been shown to develop in animals. The prevalence of
tetracycline induced staining is approximately 3-4%.5 The
Figure 8a: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary posterior teeth with normal
permanent anterior teeth.
Figure 8b: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary posterior teeth with normal
permanent anterior teeth.
Figure 8c: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary posterior teeth with normal
permanent anterior teeth.
Figure 7c: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary posterior teeth with normal
permanent anterior teeth.
Figure 7a: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary posterior teeth with normal
permanent anterior teeth.
Figure 7b: Clinical image of teeth with distinct grayish
discoloration of primary posterior teeth with normal
permanent anterior teeth.
instances where uorescent microscopy images are published.
In the current article, we described the pattern of images.
119
Journal of International Oral Health 2014; 6(3):115-119Tetracycline discoloration in deciduous teeth… Vennila V et al
discoloration is due to the formation of tetracycline-calcium
orthophosphate complex.5-8 Tetracycline is incorporated into
the tooth through the blood to the coronal portion of the
pulp to the sub-odontoblastic area ending into pre-dentin.
According to Cohlan, the hue of the discoloration is dependent
on the type of tetracycline while their intensity depends on the
dosage and duration of drug treatment.9
In 1970, American Academy of Pediatrics ocially stated that
preparations of the tetracycline family should not be administered
to children <8 years of age because of their side-effects in
developing hard tissues.10 Various theories have been proposed
to explain this mechanism. According to Berger, tetracycline
attaches to the glycoproteins in acquired pellicle.11 Other
hypothesis includes binding of tetracycline with plasma proteins
and deposition in collagen-rich tissues, chelation of drug with
iron to form an insoluble complex and deposited in dentin during
secondary dentinogenesis, which is accelerated in bruxists.6,12
Based on the extent and color of staining, it is classied into
the rst degree (Mild tetracycline staining) includes teeth
with Yellow to grayish staining with no banding and is spread
throughout the tooth uniformly. Second degree (Moderate
tetracycline staining) teeth with Yellow brown to dark grayish
staining, Third degree (severe tetracycline staining) teeth with
blue gray or blackish staining associated with banding across
the tooth and fourth degree includes intractable staining that
is so severe that bleaching is ineective.13,14
According to Tredwin, Scully anterior primary teeth are
susceptible to discoloration by systemic tetracycline from
4 months in-utero through 9 months post-partum and anterior
permanent teeth are susceptible from 3 months post-partum
to 8 years and in pregnancy in general.15,16
In younger children, teeth are bright yellow, while in older
children, they are brownish. Change in color is because of
the oxidation process of the tetracycline compound in the
teeth. These changes are the result of an oxidation product of
tetracycline induced by exposure to light.
Prevention of staining of teeth can be done by reducing the
dose of the drug, avoiding the drug in the critical period of
mineralization of teeth. In an animal study done on rats co-
administration of vitamin C with minocycline reduced the
formation of the degraded product of the quinine ring structure
thereby preventing the stains.17 Though there is no evidence
of its teratogenic eects, malformation of chick embryos was
seen in embryos which were administered with tetracycline.18
Conclusion
This is the rst case series to be published on tetracycline in
primary teeth after approximately a decade. The alarming part
of this case series is that all the patients belong to the same
village. Hence, it is evident that use of tetracycline has not
been completely avoided, but still prescribed because of lack
of awareness among regional medical practitioners. Hence,
the need for conduction of awareness programs in the rural
region is emphasized.
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... Guatelli-Steinberg 2003). Further, the administration of tetracycline antibiotics during enamel formation is permanently imprinted on teeth, revealed after their eruption [18]. (Vennila V. et al 2014).; [18] Sanchez AR, Rogers III MD, Sheridan PJ. 2004. ...
... Further, the administration of tetracycline antibiotics during enamel formation is permanently imprinted on teeth, revealed after their eruption [18]. (Vennila V. et al 2014).; [18] Sanchez AR, Rogers III MD, Sheridan PJ. 2004. ...
... Further, the administration of tetracycline antibiotics during enamel formation is permanently imprinted on teeth, revealed after their eruption [18]. (Vennila V. et al 2014).; [18] Sanchez AR, Rogers III MD, Sheridan PJ. 2004. ...
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