When soon-to-be parents think of teeth, they likely envision a teething baby trying to gnaw on anything they can get their hands on. However, some parents get surprised when their baby is born because their newborn enters the world with a tooth or two.
Natal teeth can be shocking, and even concerning, to parents who encounter it. The good news is that these teeth do not mean anything is wrong with your baby and they are not immediately harmful to your child, especially if they are pulled by a dentist early on.
Why Are Some Babies Born With Teeth?
Natal teeth are pretty rare, with only one in about 2,000 babies born with a natal tooth.
Certain conditions, like a cleft lip or palate, can increase the possibilities of a baby being born with natal teeth, as can underlying medical conditions like Sotos Syndrome, Hallermann-Streiff Syndrome, Pierre Robin Syndrome and Ellis-van Creveld Syndrome. These conditions are quite rare and the appearance of a natal tooth does not mean your child has an underlying condition.
The chances of natal teeth appearing are also increased when a relative such as a parent or a sibling is born with a natal tooth. Females also appear to be more likely to be born with a natal tooth, according to Healthline.
Natal teeth are typically small and loose with a brown or yellow color. They often aren’t attached by any roots, but some can be fully developed and connected by a few roots. Other natal teeth appear as normal teeth just beginning to erupt through the gums, while some can be visible just underneath the gums as they prepare to emerge.
What To Do About Natal Teeth
Natal teeth don’t pose any immediate problems for a baby, but it’s important to monitor them with the guidance of a pediatrician and dentist.
Sometimes these teeth are secure enough to stay, in which case a dentist will leave them in the baby’s mouth. Other times, a dentist will pull the natal tooth to avoid any potential problems. Loose natal teeth can be a choking hazard if they disconnect from a child’s gums, making it extremely important that they are inspected by a dentist shortly after birth. Natal teeth can also cause harm to a mother during breastfeeding and can injure a baby’s tongue, as well.
The Final Word
If your baby is born with natal teeth, be sure to let a pediatrician and dentist know as soon as possible. Natal teeth can be addressed quickly to avoid any potential injuries and complications with the help of a dentist to ensure the safety of a child and their mother.