Both Natal and Neonatal teeth are anomalies and not normal. The difference between the natal and neonatal teeth is mainly due to the presence or absence of each type at birth. Both of these conditions are a type of premature eruption.
Natal and Neonatal teeth are also called as “Baby Teeth” and “Aberrant Nodules”
- Natal Teeth – Teeth present at Birth,
- Neonatal Teeth – Teeth erupting from birth to 30 days after birth.
What are Natal Teeth:
- Deciduous Teeth present at birth in a child’s oral cavity. Natal teeth are also called as “Aberrant Nodules”
- Most frequently involved teeth are the Mandibular incisors followed by the maxillary incisors
- Sex Distribution: Females > Males
- Etiology: Suspected to have a familial pattern of inheritance which can mostly be a autosomal dominant trait.
What are Neonatal Teeth:
- Deciduous teeth erupting within 30 days after birth. These are morphological similar to Natal teeth but only differentiated with eruption time.
- Mandibular > Maxillary
- Females show more prediliction than Males.
- Etiology is the same as Natal teeth with the tooth germ migrating to the surface prematurely.
Similarities in Natal and Neonatal teeth:
Morphology: Natal and Neonatal teeth resemble primary deciduous teeth but are small, conical, poorly developed, yellow, with hypo-plastic Enamel and Dentin involvement and absence of roots. Due to absence of roots there is minimum bone support held only with the help of soft tissue lining along the cervical region of the crown like structure.
Histology: Enamel is Hypoplastic covering the tooth, but the main difference histologically is in the Dentin compared to the primary or deciduous teeth. Dentin in Natal and neonatal teeth dentin is irregular large interglobular dentin, osseodentin like structures and atypical dentinal tubules are also seen. Cervical dentin shows loss of dentinal tubules. Loss of Hertwig’s sheath and cementum is seen.
Complications of Natal and Neonatal teeth:
Riga-Fede Disease: Due to the presence of natal teeth during breast feeding there will be discomfort and lead to ulceration’s on the ventral surface of the tongue or on the inner surface of the lip. Due to the presence of repeated trauma with the presence of Natal or Neonatal teeth these ulceration’s can develop into large fibrous mass.
Aspiration: Due to lack of roots and support from the underlying bone the Natal and Neonatal teeth are loose and mobile with a constant fear of exfoliation of the tooth and being Aspirated by the child.
Treatment: Extraction of the natal and neo natal teeth soon after birth in case of natal teeth or after eruption in Neo natal teeth.