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Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry Official publication of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
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CASE REPORT
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-52
 

Sublingual traumatic ulceration due to neonatal teeth (Riga-Fede disease)


Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Modern Dental College, Indore, India

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DOI: 10.4103/0970-4388.16031

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   Abstract 

The term Riga-Fede disease has been used historically to describe traumatic ulceration that occurs on the ventral surface of tongue in neonates and infants. It is most often associated with natal and neonatal teeth in newborns. A case of Riga-Fede disease is presented.


Keywords: Riga′s disease, Riga-Fede′s disease, traumatic sublingual ulceration


How to cite this article:
Hegde R J. Sublingual traumatic ulceration due to neonatal teeth (Riga-Fede disease). J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2005;23:51-2

How to cite this URL:
Hegde R J. Sublingual traumatic ulceration due to neonatal teeth (Riga-Fede disease). J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2005 [cited 2017 Apr 30];23:51-2. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2005/23/1/51/16031


Traumatic ulceration on the ventral surface of the tongue is most commonly associated with natal or neonatal teeth in newborns.[1],[2] It may also occur in older infants after the eruption of primary lower incisors with repetitive tongue thrusting habits[3] and in children with familial dysautonomia (in sensitivity to pain).[4]

Typically the lesion begins as an ulcerated area on the ventral surface of the tongue with repeated trauma, it may progress to an enlarged, fibrous mass with appearance of an ulcerative granuloma. It may interfere with proper suckling and feeding and put the neonate at risk for nutritional deficiencies. In such instances, dental intervention may be required.




   Case Report Top


A twenty eight day old female was referred for evaluation of an ulcerated area on the ventral surface of the tongue [Figure - 1]. The mother complained of child exhibiting pain during suckling and would not nurse.

Oral examination revealed two crowns in the mandibular anterior region, whitish in color and exhibiting grade II mobility in central incisor position. The ventral surface of tongue showed 5 mm x 10 mm ulceration that extended from anterior border of the tongue to lingual frenum [Figure - 2]. On palpation, area elicited a pain response from the patient.

Examination of the rest of intraoral mucosa revealed no other lesions. Radiographic examination revealed a neonatal tooth, probably, a primary incisor, with well-formed crown but minimal root development. Based on clinical findings diagnosis of "Riga-Fede" disease was made.

Extraction of the teeth was chosen as treatment of choice over more conservative treatment which slows healing. Extraction was carried out under topical local anesthesia, which patient tolerated well. Patient was reviewed after ten days and the lesion was fully resolved. Mother informed that infant was feeding normally.




   Discussion Top


For the past two hundred years, many reports of infants born with teeth or teeth erupting immediately after birth have appeared in the medical and dental literature.[5] These teeth have been referred as 'Natal teeth', 'congenital teeth' and precocious dentition (Mayhall and Badenhoff).[6],[7] In modern dental literature, most satisfactory terminology has been defined by Massler and Savara.[8] Natal teeth indicates teeth present in oral cavity at birth and 'neonatal teeth', those which erupt during the neonatal period i.e., from birth to thirtieth day of life. Neonatal teeth often present with hypoplastic enamel and underdeveloped roots, with resultant mobility.

Major complication from neonatal teeth is an ulceration on the ventral surface of the tongue caused by tooth's sharp incisal edge. Constant trauma may create ulceration sufficient to interfere with proper suckling and feeding and put the neonate at risk for nutritional deficiencies.

The lesion was first described by Antonio Riga, an Italian physician in 1881. Histologic studies and additional cases were subsequently published by F. Fede in 1890.[3] It has been subsequently been known as " Riga-Fede disease More Details".

Treatment of Riga-Fede disease has varied over the years. Early treatment consisted of excision of the lesion. Due to the erroneous diagnosis of the etiology, resolution of the lesion occurred only upon weaning of the child.

In case of mild to moderate irritation to the tongue, conservative treatment such as smoothing the incisal edge with an abrasive instrument is advocated.[9] Alternatively, a small increment of composite may be bonded to the incisal edges of the teeth.[10]

In this case, ulcerated area was large and denuded and even a reduced incisal edges may still contact and traumatize the tongue during suckling, enough to delay healing. The pediatrician's concern over the infants failure to gain weight due to ulceration's interference with suckling dictated the need for rapid resolution of the lesion. So extraction of the natal tooth was chosen over more conservative treatments.

At a follow up appointment, the lesion was fully resolved and infant was feeding normally.

 
   References Top

1.Goho C. Neonatal sublingual traumatic ulceration (Riga-Fede disease): Reports of cases. J Dent Child 1996;63:362-4.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  
2.Buchanan S, Jenkins CR. Riga-Fede's syndrome: Natal or neonatal teeth associated with tongue ulceration, case report. Aust Dent J 1997;42:225-7.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  
3.Slaryton R. Treatment alternatives for sublingual traumatic ulceration (Riga-Fede disease). Fed Dent 2000;22:413-4.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Rakocz M, Frand M, Brand N. Familial dysatonomia with Riga-Fede's disease: Report of case. ASDC J Dent Child 1987;54:57-9.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  
5.Ruth AA. Natal and neonatal teeth: Histologic investigation of two black females. ASDC J Dent Child 1982;49:300-3.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Mayhall JT. Natal and neonatal teeth among the thinget Indians. J Dent Res 1967;46:748-9.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  
7.Badenhoff J. Natal and neonatal teeth. Dent Abstr 1960;5:485-6.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Massler M, Savara BS. Natal and neonatal teeth. J Pediat 1950;36:349-59.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  
9.Allwright W. Natal and neonatal teeth. A study among Chinese in Hong Kong. Br Dent J 1958;105:163-72.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Baghdadi ZD. Riga-Fede disease: Report of a case and review. J Cl Fed Dent 2001;25:209-13.  Back to cited text no. 10    


Figures

[Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]


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