Natal Teeth

Natal teeth are teeth that are present when the infant is born. There is a chance of one in every 2,000 newborns having natal teeth. These are not the same as neonatal teeth that erupts regularly in the infant’s mouth during the first few months of life. Natal teeth are usually the infant’s baby teeth that have come in early. The teeth are often loose because the root is not completely formed. There may be few problems that are associated to natal teeth. Natal teeth may make breastfeeding a bit hard. If the teeth are loose, there is a chance infant may swallow the teeth and may cause airway obstruction and chocking problem. And natal teeth may interfere with the baby’s natural suckling motion.

Diagnosis of natal teeth:
Natal teeth are usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your infant. The teeth can be seen and usually allow for a diagnosis simply on physical examination. Your infant’s physician or dentist may also order X-rays of the infant’s mouth to help in the evaluation of the problem.

Management of natal teeth:
Teeth that are loose may need to be removed to decrease the risk of the infant inhaling the tooth into his/her airways. Early removal of the teeth may lead to spacing or crowding of the permanent teeth when they erupt. Dear mom and dad: Natal teeth are sign of your child having teeth a bit earlier than its time. There is no reason for you to panic or worry. Call us and bring your bundle of joy in and let us do a thorough evaluation. Your Little Hero will be in good hands.

(with thanks to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Children Hospital of Wisconsin web knowledge)

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