Can Babies Be Born With Teeth?

While it is rare, 1 in 2000 babies are born with at least one tooth. Most babies receive their first tooth between 6 months to one year old. It is even less common for your child to be born with multiple teeth, but this is usually two at maximum.

There has never been a documented case of a child born with a full set of teeth. If your child was born with teeth, this is known as natal teeth. Read on in this blog from Water Valley Dental to find out what causes it and what if anything you should do about it.

What Causes Natal Teeth?

Certain factors increase a baby’s risk of having natal teeth, but there isn’t a singular known cause. There seems to be a genetic predisposition for this condition, as many children born with teeth have family members who had natal teeth as well.

There is also significant overlap between natal teeth and cleft palates or cleft lips. If you have a cleft lip or palate, you are at a much higher risk of having natal teeth. There is also a potential link between natal teeth and malnutrition, fever, or infection.

There are a few other conditions that increase your risk, such as these syndromes:

  • Sotos
  • Ellis-Van Creveld
  • Hallermann Streiff
  • Pierre Robin

What Is the Difference Between Natal and Neonatal Teeth?

Teeth that your child is born with are natal teeth while teeth that erupt earlier than usual are neonatal teeth. Most children start to teethe around 6 months and their first tooth erupts by the time they turn one.

Someone with neonatal teeth, however, would start teething as soon as 3 months old. Neonatal teeth are actually rarer than natal teeth. In some cases, these natal teeth can be supernumerary teeth, which are extra teeth outside of the 20 primary teeth.

Only about 10% of natal teeth are supernumerary but they can cause issues such as overcrowding and damage to surrounding teeth. A Windsor pediatric dentist can examine the teeth to determine what type of tooth it is.

Can Natal Teeth Cause Problems?

Yes, natal or neonatal teeth can cause issues, especially if they are loose or supernumerary teeth. As previously mentioned, supernumerary teeth cause overcrowding in the mouth which can cause impaction of primary teeth, bite problems, and pain.

This could require orthodontic treatment in the future if you don’t have it removed. Primary natal teeth can also sometimes be loose or not have fully developed roots, which can put your child at risk of swallowing or choking on the tooth. Some teeth may be sharp and can cause oral injury, feeding problems, or hurt the mother during feeding.

Determining If They Need to Be Removed

Natal teeth usually do not cause any problems and do not necessitate dental intervention. However, we recommend you bring your child in very soon after realizing they have natal teeth so we can examine them and determine the risk of complications.

Supernumerary teeth are usually prone to complications and may need to be extracted. Loose teeth that can hurt your baby or the mother are too high risk and should be extracted. Teeth that have sharp edges may not need to be extracted if we can alleviate the problem by filing them down and smoothing them with dental bonding.

Does Your Child Have Natal Teeth? Bring Them In for a Checkup!

If you notice natal teeth in your baby’s mouth, you will need to get a jump-start on their oral health. Rather than waiting for your child to receive their first tooth, they already have theirs. You will need to start brushing their tooth right away and taking them to the dentist to prevent complications.

We can also determine if any dental intervention or tooth extraction is necessary. Contact us at Water Valley Dental today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Daniel Banks.

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