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5 Congenital Oral Defects to Be Aware Of

5 Congenital Oral Defects to Be Aware Of

While not terribly frequent, congenital anomalies do exist in many children today. Whether they are the result of genetics, practitioner error or an unknown factor, they can cause many problems for the baby as well as for his or her parents. When these anomalies affect the lips, tongue, teeth or palate, they are known as congenital oral anomalies, and they can significantly affect how the child develops. If your child is affected by any of the following five abnormalities, you will want to get professional health care or dental assistance immediately.

Cleft Lip and Palate

These are some of the most well-known oral congenital defects that form before the child has made it through the first trimester of pregnancy. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth, and a cleft lip is an opening in the upper lip. It is thought that these are generally due to genetic issues or nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy. Today, these deformities can be treated with surgery before the child is two.


Fluorosis is a more common issue found in children. With this, the teeth do not have as much enamel as is expected, and the teeth may appear spotted. Usually, this is caused by an excessive exposure to fluoride. Treatment for severe cases will require help from a dental professional who may recommend special pastes and products to decrease discoloration or bonding and crowns to repair teeth.


A choristoma is a tumor that grows in the oral cavity. Rather than being made up of an overgrowth of oral tissues, this tumor is made of different tissue types that are not typically found in the mouth. While a choristoma is benign, it must be removed to allow the child to eat and speak properly as he or she develops. Tumors are often found on the bottom side of the tongue.


Macroglossia is the scientific term for an enlarged tongue. Not only will this cause your baby cosmetic challenges, but also it can make it difficult for your baby to eat, swallow and even sleep. This is often a genetic issue and must be treated with speech therapy and possible surgery.

Enamel Hypoplasia

This condition is similar to fluorosis in that it affects tooth enamel. With enamel hypoplasia, there will not be enough enamel to cover the tooth properly. It can affect the baby teeth and possibly even the permanent teeth as they arrive. The tooth may appear misshapen or may be deeply grooved. A dentist at a clinic like Dentistry for Children & Adolescents will be able to help your child by recommending ways to remineralize the teeth or by using fillers or bonds to harden the teeth and decrease the chance of future decay.

Congenital oral defects can significantly affect the health and wellbeing of any child. If your child has been diagnosed with one of these five conditions, he or she may have difficulty thriving physically due to not being able to take in adequate nutrition. These children will also often have difficulty with speech due to a malformed mouth. You can help make life easier and more manageable for children with oral defects by getting them the medical and dental care that they need.

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