Natal tooth in preterm newborn: a case report

ABSTRACT Low birth weight and prematurity may be associated with delayed dental eruption in the deciduous dentition; notwithstanding this relationship, cases of preterm newborns presenting natal or neonatal teeth have been reported in the literature, although this is a rare occurrence. The objective was to present the report of natal tooth in a preterm newborn, analyzing the uniqueness of this case in contrast to the delayed dental eruption usually observed in association with prematurity. Case report: The newborn infant girl, with a gestational age of 36 weeks and 3 days and birth weight of 2,300 g, was attended to as part of the “Strategies for Oral Health Promotion for Infants” project, linked to the Pediatric Dentistry course at the Federal University of Espírito Santo. The newborn infant was referred by the neonatology and pediatric department of the university hospital as she presented an erupted tooth at birth. Clinical examination, in the region corresponding to the lower central incisors, revealed the presence of an erupted natal tooth and homologous tooth covered in gingival tissue. The periapical radiograph confirmed teeth 71 and 81. Since they were well implanted and did not interfere with breastfeeding, these teeth were retained. The mother was instructed to return if there were ulcerations in the infant’s tongue or nipple fissures, with the use of negative reporting regarding the occurrence of alterations up to two months of age. The occurrence of natal tooth teeth is rare, but they may be present in the preterm newborn, despite the association between prematurity and delayed dental eruption in the deciduous dentition.