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Teething is a typical stage of a baby’s development during the first year of life. Between 4 and 7 months of age, most infants erupt their first tooth. The bottom front central incisors, which are situated first to pierce the gums, are the teeth that do this.

Did you know, however, that can babies be born with teeth? The answer is Yes! Natal teeth, or teeth that are present at birth, are relatively uncommon, though less common than you might imagine. One out of every 2,000 to 3,500 newborns is born with at least one tooth. Continue reading, you will learn more about natal teeth!

What Are Natal Teeth?

Neonatal teeth are those that a baby gets within the first 30 days of birth, but some babies get teeth even earlier than that! The majority of babies start getting their first teeth at around six months of age, but in rare circumstances, babies may start getting teeth even earlier. Natal teeth are those that a baby develops while still inside the womb and has when they are born.

When their newborn child has a tooth (or teeth), a parent may be shocked and worried. “Carla Ann Tornatore, D.D.S., asserts that most parents, particularly first-time parents, have been preparing for the birth of their child., director of pediatric dentistry and assistant professor of dental medicine at College of Dental Medicine at Touro. “At around six months of age, they are ready for tooth emergence. Therefore, parents may find it unsettling to see a tooth in their baby’s smile.”

Margaret Macedonian, DDS, a pediatric and special needs dentist, notes that natal teeth are uncommon. But they are not totally unknown. “Being born with teeth seems rare, but it happens approximately one out of every 3,000 births,” she says.3

Female babies may be more likely to have natal teeth than male babies, though some researchers are skeptical that natal teeth predominate in one sex over the other. The majority of natal teeth erupt on a baby’s lower gum line, and their prevalence has been estimated to be anywhere between 1 in 716 births and 1 in 3500 births.


Exactly How DoBabies’ Natal Teeth Look?

The bottom front teeth, or lower central incisors, usually erupt first in newborns, just like they do in older babies. Sometimes natal teeth resemble typical primary teeth in appearance. But frequently they are a little underdeveloped:

  • Natal teeth may be smaller than normal primary teeth and/or cone-shaped;
  • Their enamel (the tooth’s hard, protective outer coating) is often hypoplastic, meaning that it is thin or even absent; hypo mineralized, meaning that the enamel is softer than normal
  • They frequently have weak roots and some degree of mobility.

Natal Teeth Are They Primary Teeth?

The majority of natal teeth are just typical primary teeth that erupted early for their age. A sizeable minority, however, are not.

Twenty primary teeth make up a full set, though some kids occasionally erupt with more than that. Supernumerary teeth are the term for these extra teeth, which can cause bite problems as will be covered in the section below. Less than 10% of the teeth at birth are extra teeth.

Using dental X-rays, a pediatric dentist can determine whether a baby’s first tooth is extra.

Different Types Of Natal Teeth

While some infants do indeed have teeth at birth, the situation isn’t always as straightforward. There are four different natal tooth types. Your baby may have one of the following conditions, which your doctor can diagnose:

  • Fully developed, though loose, crowns affixed to a few root structures
  • Loose teeth that don’t have any roots at all
  • Small teeth just emerging from the gums
  • Evidence of teeth about to cut through the gums

The majority of natal tooth cases only involve one tooth. It is even more unusual to have multiple teeth at birth. The most frequent front teeth are the lower ones, then the upper ones. Molars are present at birth in fewer than 1% of infants with natal teeth.

The likelihood of complications will depend on the precise type of teeth your newborn has. This will aid your doctor in deciding whether or not a course of treatment is required.

Natal Teeth: Causes And Prevalence

Natal teeth can appear mysterious, but there are some circumstances that can increase the likelihood that babies will be born with teeth. Infants with cleft lip or palate may exhibit these teeth. It’s possible for newborns to have natal teeth in addition to dentin anomalies (the calcified tissues that aid in tooth formation).

There are underlying medical conditions that may result in natal teeth. The following syndromes fall under this category:

  • Sotos
  • Hallerman-Streiff
  • Pierre Robin
  • Ellis-van Creveld

Risks Associated With Natal Teeth

  • Aspiration Risk

High mobility natal teeth have a tendency to fall out on their own, which raises the possibility of aspiration. The likelihood of a child aspirating (i.e., inhaling) a natal tooth is believed to be extremely low. However, the possibility of aspiration should be taken into account because a tooth aspiration can result in potentially serious respiratory problems, such as obstruction of the child’s airways.

  • Feeding Difficulties

During nursing, the baby’s or the mother’s natal teeth may cause discomfort. Traumatic lingual ulceration also referred to as Riga-Fede disease, is tongue ulceration that can occur in some infants. Lower incisor (bottom front) natal teeth are frequently connected to this condition. When nursing, shifting the tongue back and forth can cause an ulcer on the underside of the tongue because the natal teeth may be sharp and cone-shaped. For infants with the disease, feeding can be painful or challenging. The Riga-Fede disease typically manifests as an open sore that can turn into a fibrous mass on the tongue.

  • Crowding and Displacement

When the child’s other teeth erupt, if the natal tooth is a supernumerary tooth, problems may arise. For instance, having too many teeth can result in crowding problems and can prevent or delay the emergence of permanent teeth.

  • Cavities

A natal tooth is more likely to get cavities than a tooth without enamel defects if it has hypoplasia or hypomineralization of the enamel. 

Is It Necessary To Remove Natal Teeth?

Generally, it is advised to remove natal teeth that are excessively numerous. The pediatric dentist for your child can identify any extra teeth and help you decide when to have them extracted.

As opposed to this, a natal tooth that is a part of the typical primary dentition (i.e., is one of a child’s twenty primary teeth), it is best to save the tooth when possible.

Primary teeth play a critical role in children’s ability to chew food, speak clearly, and support the proper emergence of permanent teeth. Additionally, unlike missing permanent teeth, a missing primary tooth cannot be restored with dental implants because those teeth may be able to obstruct the replacement permanent tooth from erupting properly. This means that if a baby tooth that is a normal part of the dentition is extracted, the child will be left without a tooth until the replacement permanent tooth erupts, which typically takes six to twelve years, depending on where the tooth is located.

It is frequently possible to treat natal teeth that are obstructing feeding by filing down any sharp edges or by smoothing the tooth with a small amount of composite resin (a type of white filling material). This method of removing sharp edges may help to prevent injury and promote the healing of ulcers brought on by the Riga-Fede disease.

Having said that, it is occasionally advised to remove natal teeth. If the tooth cannot be sufficiently reshaped to resolve the feeding problem, extraction may be necessary. Furthermore, to avoid possible aspiration, highly mobile natal teeth are frequently extracted.

A pediatric dentist with experience working with natal teeth should be called upon to extract natal teeth. To stop further root development, the soft tissue lining of the tooth socket should be removed after the extraction.

When To Seek Professional Treatment?

The majority of the time, natal teeth that aren’t loose are left alone. However, if your child is born with loose teeth that lack roots, your doctor might advise surgical removal. These natal teeth can increase your baby’s risk of developing:

  • choking from accidental swallowing of the loose tooth
  • feeding problems
  • tongue injuries
  • injuries to the mother during breast-feeding

To ascertain whether a sound root structure is present, an X-ray will be taken of the loose tooth. Removal might be necessary if there isn’t such a structure.


The likelihood of you requiring some sort of intervention is also extremely unlikely because natal and neonatal teeth are both uncommon.

However, it is best to consult your pediatrician if your baby has teeth from birth. To avoid risks and health complications, any loose teeth may require surgical removal.

Read More: When Do Kids Get Molars?

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