Baby Teeth: Natal Teeth

Most babies are born without teeth. They look so adorable, innocent, and harmless without teeth.

When teething comes at about 6 months of age, we are all delighted with the two cute little bunny-like teeth at the lower jaw.

“SOoooooooooo cute!” That is how you feel.


What if…. Your baby is born with teeth?

“What???????? Why?????????? What should I do???????????”


Natal Teeth and Neonatal Teeth

Natal teeth are teeth that are present at birth.

Neonatal teeth are teeth that develops in the first month of life

The incidence varies from 1:2000 to 1:3500.

The most common location is the centre of lower jaw (location of lower central incisor)


How To Find Out

At birth, the paediatricians will examine the oral cavity and it includes checking for natal teeth.

Another common route is if the mother has problem with breastfeeding due to sharp structure in baby mouth, then a thorough examination is required.

In such case, a pediatric dentist will be the right person to examine your baby.

Radiograph will be required to investigate the teeth and decide what treatment is necessary.


Possible Complication of Natal Teeth

The potential complication includes:

  1. Risk of swallowing the tooth if it is very loose
  2. Breastfeeding problem as mother may be injured.
  3. Injury to the baby tongue due to the sharp structure


Management of Natal Teeth

Management is different base on the findings from the radiograph and examination by the pediatric dentist.

  1. No treatment
  2. Grinding or smoothening of the sharp edges of the tooth
  3. Extraction / Removal of the teeth

No matter which is the treatment of choice, the baby should be followed up until at least the eruption of the permanent teeth.


Myth about Natal Teeth

I have heard patients telling me that the baby is born with teeth because the mother has taken too much calcium during pregnancy.

Also, there are superstitious belief that baby born with teeth is bearer of misfortune.

The truth is multiple hypothesis have been established about the condition. These includes hormone disturbance during pregnancy, nutritional deficiency and etc.

The most acceptable theory is the location of the tooth germ that is at a more superficial level.

No matter what the reason for such condition is, the focus should always be at what to do to manage the condition and love your baby unconditionally. The paediatrician and pediatric dentist will help in such a situation and baby will grow healthily just as any other kids. =)


With Love,

Gwen Gan