Huda Salem Alrakaf

Huda Salem Alrakaf

Prince Sultan Military Medical City, KSA

Title: Oral histopathological changes in premature infants


Huda Salem Alrakaf completed her Graduation from King Saud University (KSU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She then obtained her Master of Science in Dentistry at KSU. In Madrid, Spain 2003, she earned her specialized certificate on high risk and special need children. Later in the year 2007, she took a course in psychopathology of children and intervention at Howard University, Washington DC, USA. Her achievements in 2001 were remarkable she did the first publication of both intra-nasal midazolan in conscious sedation of young pediatric dental patients and dental management for coach syndrome.


Preterm and low birth weight children comprise approximately 10% of all live births. It is an enormous global problem that is exacting a huge loss emotionally, physically and financially on families along with medical systems premature children experience many oral complications associated with their preterm birth. Prematurely born infants have short prenatal developmental period and they are prone to many serious medical problems during the neonatal period which may affect the development of oral tissue. It was reported that premature born whom were intubated had developed erosions of the maxillary anterior alveolar ridge. The dragging motion of the orotracheal tube traumatized the mucosa with consequent ulceration and pressure necrosis of the alveolar ridge and underlying tooth buds. Hence, premature neonates require assisted ventilation using nasotracheal or orotracheal tubes. However, orotracheal intubation is not free of complication. Histopathological changes to the airway, mucosa, damage to the larynx, subglottic and bronchial dentofacial deformities (primary tooth dilaceration cross bites), poor speech intelligibility. Enamel alteration (enamel hypoplasia, enamel opacities), dental size (small primary tooth crown size associated with BW should be considered studies of tooth size in all population) and changes to the dental mineral content. At the same time oral lesions represent a wide range of diseases often creating apprehension and anxiety among parents. Early examination and prompt diagnosis can aid in prudent management and serves as baseline in the future course of the disease. This present review is on the deleterious effect of preterm birth and oral tube on oral structures and their development. Implications for long term care and follow up of dental concerns are also discussed.