By Saudha Nakandha
Last year, Aniku Florence, 20 was blessed with a baby boy but her excitement was soon cut short when she realized that her one day old son had teeth a thing that is not common among the new-borns.
She immediately stopped breastfeeding her baby, thinking that something would befall her or their home.
When she told the doctor about it, he allayed her fears, and reassured her that "it was normal" for some babies to be born with teeth.
She left hospital for home thinking it would be 'normal' as the doctor had stated.
"People have been flocking into our home to have a look at my baby which is becoming too alarming for my thinking," Aniku says.
She says that she is worried of the future of her baby since the case (being born with teeth) is a rear issue in her community.
Aniku has now resorted to hiding her baby who is now four months, with six teeth.
Under normal circumstances according to a dental surgeon, normally the first teeth do not develop until the infant is aged between six months and one year.
According to Amos Balyeku, an elder whose son was born with teeth 35 years ago, and had his teeth removed, new teeth never grew up in the gaps again.
How society views babies born with teeth
According to an elder Lazia Kampi, babies that were born with teeth were regarded as extra ordinary people.
"In places they stayed, people feared them. They would finally be made leaders of the clan and revered as spirits in the communities they resided in," she recalls.
In some communities, these babies were regarded as demons that were likely to torment the community in future, a reason they were always put to death.
According to Timothy Mawano, a dental surgeon, parents may be happy to find that their child is born with some teeth because it means that their baby has to experience teething for less teeth.
Mawano refers to this kind of teeth present in a newborn's mouth as natal teeth.
While Grace Kisitu, also a dental surgeon at Mulago, says such teeth simply develop in abnormal positions that are much closer to the surface of the gums.
He attributes such occurrences to infections, trauma, malnutrition, superficial position of the tooth germ among babies.
He further cites hormonal stimulation and maternal exposure to environmental toxins as some of the factors that are linked to formation of natal teeth.
Kisitu advises parents to seek for advice from professionals in case they on sight of natal in babies.
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