A Rare Smile: Managing Neonatal Teeth

A Rare Smile: Managing Neonatal Teeth

In a rare and extraordinary occurrence, a newborn surprised her parents at birth with not one, but two tiny teeth.

Neonatal teeth are very uncommon, with an incidence of only 1 in 2000-3000 cases. It is simply teeth that erupt prematurely or very early.

Neonatal teeth are rare, however can be safely managed with expert Pediatric dental care. The causes of neonatal teeth are multifactorial, however genetic predisposition may play a major role.

In this instance the baby was born at Fakeeh University Hospital with two neonatal teeth and visited Specialist Pediatric Dentist Dr. Sajjad Hasim on discharge. Dr. Sajjad Hasim performed the first tooth extraction when the baby was 9 days old.

Though rare, neonatal tooth must be looked upon with great importance because they may lead to complications. In the intricate balance of health and risk navigation, neonatal teeth, if left unattended, can turn from the sweetest smile to a potential health risk.

The removal of neonatal teeth demands utmost precision and a gentle touch since it involves dealing with newborns. As emphasized by Dr. Sajjad Hasim, "Managing neonatal teeth is a delicate process, and it's crucial to entrust it to an experienced Pediatric dentist. Our primary goal is to ensure the safety and of the newborn during the extraction. In this case, the baby had two neonatal teeth – one of which was still covered by the gums, hence left untouched, until it starts showing."

Besides the obvious concern of the baby potentially biting the mother during breastfeeding, there’s also a risk of injury to the baby's tongue that could cause ‘Riga-Fede’, a mouth ulcer caused by the rubbing of the tongue against the teeth. Since neonatal teeth lack proper root development, it also increases the likelihood of them falling off leading to the baby swallowing it causing airway and lung damage.

This case is a testament to the miraculous possibilities of medical intervention when confronting the rarest of anomalies. Parents of the newborn were grateful for effective and successful management of their baby’s case and said, "We were astonished when we discovered our newborn had teeth. We did not even know it was a possibility. However, Dr. Sajjad Hasim at the team at Fakeeh University Hospital guided us through the process and made it less stressful since tooth extraction was not our list of things to do after birth”.

While neonatal teeth are a rare occurrence, they do exist. This case serves as a reminder that with early intervention from experienced pediatric dentists, they can be effectively managed without causing a health concern. The importance of awareness, vigilance, and timely action cannot be understated, as the health and well-being of newborns are paramount.