You may think it is absurd; how can a baby be born with teeth? It may seem a lie, but there is definitely some truth to it. A rare phenomenon, the chances of happening is 1 out of 2000 babies. If you are concerned about having a newborn with teeth, read on to understand why it happens and what to do with it.

Wait, if you are thinking that a baby is born with a full set of teeth, that is not true. A baby will have 1 or a maximum of 2 teeth when born.

These teeth present at the time of birth are known as natal teeth, and the ones that follow are neonatal teeth.

Natal Teeth

Natal teeth is also situated in the bottom jaw, centrally. Rarely would they grow elsewhere. It may appear like a normal tooth but has slight yet noticeable differences; they are smaller in size and have pale color.

Natal teeth present when the baby is born are loose and have poor strength and structure. This is due to the lesser in amount or total absence of the protective layer – enamel. Additional characteristics include underdevelopment, mobility, and cone like appearance.

Difference Between Natal, Neonatal, and Baby Teeth

The teeth are present when the baby is born; it’s named natal teeth. Usually, it is a single tooth and not accompanied by others. These are premature extra teeth that develop with the regular set and erupt early.

Neonatal teeth are not the ones present when the baby is born rather they erupt within 30 days of a baby’s life. These teeth, just like natal teeth, are very rare occurring.

Baby teeth are the normal set teeth that are already present in the jaw bone at birth and sprout later when the baby hits around 6 months. It varies from child to child; however, the first one to appear is usually an incisor.

Causes of Natal Teeth

The exact reason for natal teeth growth is still not known. But, a theory is put forward, the cell, i.e., tooth germ cell – which turns into the tooth; when settles near the gum line may cause an early eruption.

However, few circumstances such as an infection, malnutrition during pregnancy, or involvement of genetics may play their role. Additionally, few medical conditions are associated with it as well.

Cleft lip and Palate
The babies born with cleft lip or palate have a split in their lip or roof of the mouth. This issue occurs due to improper development during the gestation period. The cause for this condition is not established yet, but oral experts believe that genetics and environment have a role in it.

There is no surety of the exact connection between the cleft lip or palate and natal teeth. However, babies that are born having congenital abnormalities, like his one or similar, often have natal teeth.

Soto’s syndrome
A rare disorder that characterizes with excess growth during the initial years of life, also known as cerebral gigantism. The baby born is huge in size, with slanting eyes and teeth in the lower jaw.

Other symptoms include natal teeth large head, feet and hands. The children have flushed rosy cheeks, weakened muscles, and gait issues with mental abnormalities. A mutation in development gene is the main reason for this syndrome.

Ellis-van Creveld
Ellis-van Creveld is caused due to genetic mutation, which results in multiple abnormalities, including dental ones. It is a genetic disorder that affects bone growth. The children later in life are short individuals having small arms, legs, and short ribs with heart issues. The presence of teeth when the baby is born is one of the few complications seen in such patients.

A mix of physical appearance alterations that are present at birth and become prominent over time. When the baby is born, abnormalities of the skull, teeth and thin skin are seen. The individuals have poor vision, improper upper respiratory tract, and short stature.

Risks Involved with Natal Teeth

Do not panic if your baby is born with teeth. However, natal teeth management is necessary since it can cause many difficulties.

The following list of complications can arise because of teeth eruption in your baby.

Feeding Problems
A baby born with natal teeth faces a lot of issues during feeding. The baby has latching issues, and sucking might become a task. Due to this, the baby will stay half full and would wake up in episodes causing distress. Not only the baby but for mothers who breastfeed, too face irritation and uneasiness during the nursing episode.

Choking Hazard
Natal teeth are loose, weak, and mobile, that is why the risk of inhalation of the tooth is always lingering. However, the incidence of this happening is low, but it cannot be ruled out. Obstruction in breathing may result in fatality.

Due to the absence or minimal enamel, there is an increased risk of cavities.

Teeth Displacement
If the natal tooth manages to stay on for a longer time, it poses a threat to the others one in line to grow. Their presence takes up the space of the regular tooth leading to misaligned teeth, denting the smile.

What to Do With Natal Teeth?

If you are in such a situation, it is best to let the dentists decide whether it is appropriate to retain the tooth or not.

We hope that this blog has cleared your queries regarding natal teeth. Managing it is a difficult task. However, if you decide to do so, feel free to contact our specialists at Pear Shine Dental in case of any issues. Call at (281) 477 7200 for questions or to set up an appointment.