The occurrence of natal and/or neonatal teeth is a rare anomaly, which for centuries has been associated with diverse superstitions among many different ethnic groups. The incidence of natal and/or neonatal teeth is far more frequent than previously supposed. Review of 359 recorded cases suggests an incidence of at least 1 in 3,000 births. Natal teeth are more frequent than neonatal teeth, the ratio being approximately 3 to 1. Rarely, a child will exhibit both natal and neonatal teeth. There appears to be no sex preference. Most frequently (ca. 85% of the cases), the natal or neonatal teeth are the deciduous mandibular incisors. In almost 90% of the cases, the teeth are of the normal deciduous complement. The rest are supernumerary. In about 60% of the cases, both of the natal and/or neonatal mandibular incisors erupt prematurely. Occasionally, a child may be born with a considerable number of his deciduous teeth erupted. Several such cases have been cited. About 70% of the natal and/or neonatal teeth are firmly fixed but a small number subsequently become loose. Similarly, a small fraction of those initially loose become fixed. Though the etiology is not known, approximately 15% had parents, siblings, or other near relatives with a history of natal and/or neonatal teeth. In several well-documented cases, the inheritance pattern has been that of an autosomal dominant trait. Three syndromes have been associated with natal teeth: (a) chondroectodermal dysplasia or Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, (b) oculo-mandibulo-dyscephaly with hypotrichosis or Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, and (c) pachyonychia congenita or Jadassohn-Lewandowski syndrome. Natal teeth may also be associated with cleft lip, cleft palate and cyclopia. Histologic investigation has revealed a failure of root formation despite eruption, a large vascular pulp, irregular genesis of dentin and a failure of cementum formation.
- Received April 16, 1963.
- Accepted June 6, 1963.
- Copyright © 1963 by the American Academy of Pediatrics