Long-term dental implications of infant oral mutilation: a case series

Noam Dinur, Talia Becker*, Avi Levin, Yehuda Zadik, Joe Ben Itzhak, Hadas Azizi, Avi Hadad, Gabriel Batashvili, Michael Solomonov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Infant oral mutilation (IOM) is a ritual ceremony practised mostly in African cultures, in which the primary tooth bud of the deciduous canine is extracted. Complications and risks of IOM include pain, heavy bleeding and infection that may deteriorate to life-threating conditions. The main long-term consequence of IOM is future dental abnormalities. The scientific literature lacks in-depth analyses of the dental sequelae of this practice among adults who underwent it, and particularly of the aspect of dental treatment. Eight new cases of IOM are presented in this case series, with emphasis on dental diagnosis and treatment modalities. We describe different outcomes of this practice, such as enamel hypoplasia and crown deformations with later necrosis and infection of the root canal system, severe discolouration, immature root apex, impaction of a canine, failure of development and missing lower permanent incisors and canines, an odontoma-like structure, severe periodontal defect and root dilaceration. Familiarity with the practice of IOM is vital in order to identify its manifestations and arrive at the correct diagnosis and optimal course of treatment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to the British Dental Association.


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