Congenital or Birth Anomalies
Most people have been very fortunate to be born with a healthy mouth, complete with all of the necessary teeth and no visible or hidden defects that may cause discomfort or complications. However, despite being somewhat uncommon, congenital or, birth anomalies do occur, leading to problems in the patient's mouth. These issues can develop during fetal development, and often are the result of genetics or spontaneous mutations. Occasionally, these problems can occur due to the health of the mother, as well.
Understanding the cause and the treatment of these genetic anomalies is one of our major goals here Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry so that we may provide compassionate and thorough care to our patients with these specific congenital problems.
What are Some of the More Common Types of Oral Congenital Disorders?
Congenital mouth and jaw anomalies can take on many different forms and have different effects on the life of the individual who has it. Some can be devastating, but others may require simple treatment to address. The severity and degree of the disorder can also vary, making each patient a unique case. Treatment, therefore, largely depends on the patient and the type of disorder that they have.
Two of the more common types of oral genetic defect include conditions known as cleft lip and cleft palate. These are quite rare, impacting around 1 in 700 babies born each year. During development, the two opposite sides of the face are supposed to merge and create a complete and healthy face. For some babies, this does not occur, leaving an opening in the lip and the top of the mouth (the soft palate). Treatment for this condition does require surgery, usually before the second year of age, and is often a success. The outcome for the patient is expected to be good.
Another uncommon congenital anomaly is a condition called macroglossia, which means that the tongue is too large for the mouth. In some instances, the tongue may poke out of the mouth due to its large size, and it can cause problems with the patient's teeth, as they may shift or move to accommodate the tongue. Treatment for macroglossia includes speech therapy, medication, and surgery.
Lastly, we have the conditions known as hypodontia and hyperdontia. Hypodontia is the most common of all oral genetic anomalies and occurs when the patient is missing teeth. This condition appears during development, as the teeth never come in as expected. It can be mild, with the child missing just a few teeth, or it can be severe and include anodontia, which means all teeth are missing. Hyperdontia, on the other hand, mean that the patient has supernumerary - or too many teeth - in their mouth. The teeth that are often most affected by this is the anterior incisors (the "canines"). A dental prosthesis is a good option for hypodontia and dental extraction may benefit patients who have hyperdontia.
Let Us Help
It is important to distinguish the difference between understanding the various causes of these birth anomalies and using that knowledge to place unfair and unkind judgment on the mother who gives birth to these children. To learn more about congenital birth anomalies, or to schedule an appointment at our office here at Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry, please give us a call today at (715) 841-9161!