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Natal teeth

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The presence of teeth on the gingivae over the crest of the ridge of the mouth at the time of birth.


Natal teeth can be caused by the premature eruption of primary teeth. They may be well formed and normal or may represent hornified epithelial structures without roots.

When they are loose and/or cause discomfort to the infant and mother, especially when nursing, they are removed shortly after birth; otherwise they are allowed to remain.

Although their presence does not indicate a medical condition, they are sometimes associated with (1) chondroectodermal dysplasia or Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, (2) oculo-mandibulo-dyscephaly with hypotrichosis or Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, and (3) pachyonychia congenita or Jadassohn-Lewandowski syndrome.

Word origin: Latin nātālis (of, belonging to one's birth).

Synonym: fetal teeth

Compare: neonatal teeth