Tooth and nail syndrome is rare type of ectodermal dyplasia that involves the outside layer on a fetus. The outer layer of a fetus will form into numerous parts of the child’s body, and the teeth and nails are frequently affected. Males and females are equally affected by this disorder. Tooth and nail syndrome was first written and described by a dermatologist named Carl Witkop in 1965
The symptoms of tooth and nail syndrome can vary greatly depending on the person. Some of the common symptoms associated with tooth and nail syndrome are absent teeth, cone shaped teeth, abnormally developed nails, and slowly growing hair or thin hair. The number of teeth that are missing will vary, and teeth may also be widely spaced apart. The most frequently missing teeth caused by Tooth and nail syndrome are the maxillary incisors, secondary molars, and the canines. Nails can be brittle, slow growing, small, or spoon shaped. The toenails tend to be more often affected than the fingernails, and sometimes people have been born without nails entirely. The symptoms that are caused by tooth and nail syndrome can usually be managed. The prognosis is usually good, and life-threatening symptoms are very unlikely to occur.
Diagnosis will usually involve a physical exam by a doctor, who will ask about the family’s medical history. There isn’t any specific test that can be done to determine the diagnosis, and the symptoms usually are the most important aspects.
Tooth and nail syndrome is inherited, and can be passed from parent to child. This disorder is caused be a mutation in the MSX1 gene.
There isn’t a known cure at this point in time, but research is always going to continue to find the cure for diseases.
The treatment for tooth and nail syndrome seeks to help people control and lessen their symptoms. Hair problems can be coped with by using wigs, and oral procedures can sometimes be done. Procedures could be held off until the child stops growing to get a better understanding of the exact degree of the condition, and the proper care that is necessary for the patient. Joining a support group or communicating with a family that is going through the same things can often be a great help, especially to children. Seeing other people with the same condition can make kids feel better about themselves, and they will know that they aren’t the only ones living with this.
Some support groups for these conditions are…