We have compared 10 occlusal traits in 358 monozygous and dizygous twin pairs in 4 different samples and estimated genetic variances for these features. Variable and frequently nonsignificant genetic variance was noted across samples for incisal overbite and overjet, sagittal molar relationship, posterior crossbite, and rotations and displacements of anterior teeth. Heritability estimates (when appropriately calculated) were low in magnitude (0-40%) and erratic, emphasizing the importance of environmental influences on occlusal variation and the variability of apparent genetic determinants with respect to the environment or population in which they are measured.
"For example, Corruccini  suggested that the rapid increase in malocclusion among the indigenous Australian people was produced by dietary factors concurrent with industrialization. He emphasized the importance of environmental influences on occlusal variation and on the variability of apparent genetic determinants with respect to the environment or population in which they are measured   . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Just as pediatricians and endocrinologists are interested in understanding statural growth patterns and the prediction of adult height, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, and oral/maxillofacial surgeons need to be knowledgeable about a patient’s facial growth patterns to effectively treat them. Some variations in facial growth have been clinically associated with a poor esthetic self-image, malocclusion formation and the development of physical and/or functional deformity. To understand how different genetic factors influence growth and development patterns, scientists and clinicians study developmental sequences, malformations and syndromes. While understanding this general information can be clinically valuable when making treatment decisions for an individual and their family, the greatest contribution of genetics in clinical practice may be in the form of personalized or “precision” medicine in the general population. Precision medicine takes into account knowing a portion or all of a patient’s specific DNA code to estimate how their genetic makeup will influence growth and development patterns. Ultimately, the identification of key genetic variations at the level of the individual patient can improve growth predictions for that patient and may be indicative of how well they will respond to specific forms of treatment.
"Similarly, the assessment of the longitudinal data of the siblings revealed that the heritability of skeletal characteristics was stronger than the heritability of dental characteristics.17 A series of studies by Corruccini et al9,12,13 also showed variable and frequently insignificant genetic variance for dental characteristics such as, sagittal molar relationship, overbite, overjet, posterior crossbite and rotations of anterior teeth. The study of genetic influence on dental arch form and size demonstrated the predominant effect of environmental factors rather than genetic ones.18 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Successful treatment of any orthodontic problem depends on an appropriate diagnosis of its etiology. It is well known that the genetics, as well as environmental factors, play an important role on the etiology of skeletal anomalies. Recent studies and advances in genetic sciences allowed the orthodontists to better understand the effects of genetics on the etiology of dentofacial characteristics and pathologies which in turn supported the effects of the genes in the development of dentofacial complex. In orthodontic practice, the genetic basis of a skeletal anomaly should also be considered during the diagnosis. Therefore orthodontic treatment plan should be chosen accordingly. However, further genetic studies are required to clearly determine all the specific genes leading to a particular skeletal variability caused by the polygenic nature of craniofacial traits. This article includes the current information on the association between orthodontics and genetics, an outline of the evidence based impact of heredity on dentofacial development as a review of the etiological factors of skeletal anomalies from the genetic point of view.
"Tooth and jaw formation are under many different developmental controls , have evolved at least in part under different selection pressures, and appear to have separate evolutionary histories. In addition to genetic variation , primate odontogenesis is subject to environmental effects including physiological stresses due to fetal and childhood disease and poor nutrition as well as food toughness, that manifest phenotypically in the structural composition of tooth tissues (Sarnat and Schour, 1941; Kreshover, 1944; Guatelli-Steinberg, 1998, 2001), tooth size (Townsend and Brown, 1978; Townsend, 1980; Dempsey and Townsend, 2001), and occlusion differences (Corruccini et al., 1990). Understanding the factors that regulate or affect ontogenetic schedules, for example , epithelial–mesenchymal interactions and sources of temporal instructions , will better equip workers to distinguish variables that significantly affect or drive evolutionary changes in the dentition. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For the individual, coordination between tooth and jaw development is important to proper food acquisition and ingestion later in life. Among and within species, variation in dental and gnathic size, shape, and, in the case of teeth, number, must be mutually accommodating and functionally compatible. For these reasons, the development and evolution of these two systems should be closely integrated. Furthermore, the timing of dental development correlates tightly with life history events such as weaning. This correlation hints at a central regulation of the developmental timing of multiple systems that have tandem effects on physiology and behaviour. Important work on embryonic oral development continues to tease apart the molecular mechanisms that pattern jaw identity and establish tooth morphology and position in the alveolar bone. Still very poorly understood is what underlies rates and periods of gene activity such that pre- and postnatal tooth and jaw development are coordinated. Recent literature suggests at least some level of autonomy between permanent tooth and mandibular ontogenetic timing. However, whether the timing of these various signaling pathways is directly regulated or is an outcome of the pathways themselves is untested. Here, we review what is currently known about the embryonic signaling pathways that regulate tooth and jaw development in the context of time rather than space, as has been traditional. We hypothesize that the timing of mandibular and dental development is not directly mediated by a common factor but is an indirect outcome of strong selection for coordinated molecular pathways and growth trajectories. The mandible and lower jaw dentition is a powerful model with which to investigate the mechanisms that facilitate morphological change-in this case, the development and evolution-of organs that are closely integrated in terms of function, space and time.
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