IT’S a breastfeeding mum’s nightmare.
Doctors say babies can sometimes be born with teeth – despite the fact they have barely any hair, tiny fingernails and an inability to speak.
A midwife posted a picture of a newborn with teeth[/caption]
A midwife named Angela posted a photo of the rare phenomenon to her Instagram page.
It showed the mouth of a newborn with two front bottom teeth – or lumps that resemble them.
Angela said: “This little one will be evaluated for breastfeeding difficulties and see a pediatrician and possible dentist.”
“Natal teeth” are extremely rare (an estimated two per cent of newborns) – but if your baby has them, you’ll know about it.
It can cause problems with breastfeeding “because your baby may accidentally bite you while breastfeeding”, Stanford Children’s Health says.
But more seriously, it could injure the baby.
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Because the teeth are usually small, loose and weak, they may fall out either at any point during a child’s infancy.
If a tooth breaks free, there is a risk the baby or child inhales it into their airways or swallows it. The baby could also injure their tongue or lips, or suffer malnutrition if it is unable to feed properly.
For this reason, a lot of the time the baby’s tiny gnashers are surgically removed if an X-ray shows that they are loose.
Typically teeth start to come through around six months of age, but natal teeth are present from a babies first breath, while “neonatal teeth” arrive within the first 30 days of life.
Doctors are baffled as to how, and why, some babies have them – almost always in the centre of the bottom gums.
One baby in India was born with seven teeth – a world first.
“There appears to be an inherited tendency to developing natal teeth with up to 60 per cent of cases reporting a positive family history,” according to DermNet.
Some health conditions that implicate growth are also linked with neonatal teeth, including Sotos syndrome and Hallermann-Streiff syndrome.
While for most parents it’s nothing to worry about, some cultures are superstitious.
In China, Poland, India and Africa, children are considered monsters if they are born with teeth.
But in England, it’s been believed the condition would “guarantee the conquest of the world”, researchers wrote in this medical paper.
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