A broad range of developmental anomalies and morphologic variants may occur in the oral cavity of the newborn. Because many of these are transient (e.g.: palatal and alveolar cysts, lymphangioma), self-correcting with age, conventional assessments of older children can yield significantly altered trait incidences. A total of 500 normal full-term newborns (blacks and whites) were assessed by standardized criteria for 11 oral conditions, in addition to collating data on maternal conditions (age, gravidity, tobacco and alcohol use). Leukoedema and median alveolar notches were significantly more common in blacks, whereas palatal cysts were 2.5 times as likely to occur in whites. Ankyloglossia, three times as common in males, was the one trait to exhibit a significant predilection by gender. Low maternal age (less than 20 years) significantly enhanced the risk of alveolar lymphangioma in these data.