Dental anomalies are deviations in the normal development of teeth and can affect their number, volume, shape or structure. These abnormalities can be the result of genetic changes that affect the process of tooth development. In this academic article, we explore the different types of dental anomalies and the impact of heredity on their occurrence. We will also discuss the diagnosis and care of patients affected by genetically deterministic diseases.
Dental anomalies by number
Dental number anomalies refer to deviations in the normal number of teeth. They can include hypodontia (absence of one or more teeth), dental agenesis (complete absence of groups of teeth), oligodontia (absence of a large number of teeth), anodontia (absence of all teeth) and hyperdontia (presence of supernumerary teeth).
Dental volume anomalies
Dental volume anomalies refer to deviations in the normal size of teeth. They can include microdontia (smaller than normal tooth size), macrodontia (larger than normal tooth size) and tooth root abnormalities.
Dental shape anomalies
Dental shape anomalies refer to deviations in the normal shape of teeth. They can include dental fusion (the fusion of two teeth into one), gemination (the partial division of one tooth into two teeth), dens-in-tooth (the presence of a supernumerary tooth embedded in the crown of another tooth), taurodontia (the prolongation of the dental crown with pulp chamber and root changes) and dilaceration (the abrupt deviation of the tooth root).
Structural dental anomalies
Structural dental anomalies, also known as dental dysplasia, refer to deviations in the normal structure of teeth.
They can include amelogenesis imperfecta (abnormal development of tooth enamel), dentinogenesis imperfecta (abnormal development of dentin), odontodysplasia (simultaneous damage to enamel and dentin), odontogenesis imperfecta (abnormal development of teeth), enamel hypoplasia (underdevelopment of enamel), dentine hypoplasia (underdevelopment of dentine), enamel hypomineralization (impaired mineralization of enamel), dental fluorosis (damage to teeth caused by excessive exposure to fluoride) and dental dyschromia (discoloration of teeth).
Heredity and dental anomalies
The occurrence of dental diseases can often be linked to deficiencies in the order of the genes. Gene sequences, which consist of strings of amino acids, can undergo beneficial changes or mutations that can affect the normal development of the organism. Heredity is an individual property that ensures the transmission of individual or species traits to offspring.
There is a biological similarity between parents and offspring, and physical and behavioral traits, including dental traits, can be attributed to variations in gene sequences. Genes store, express and pass on genetic information, and through the perpetuation of traits, similarities can be observed over generations.
The order of genes is closely linked to the migration and mutation phenomena that occur constantly during development. Thus, there are children who inherit genes even from distant relatives, and their sequence does not follow a fixed rule.
Impact of heredity on dental diseases
There is a close relationship between heredity and disease. Inherited genes may also contain sequences that give the patient a predisposition to certain genetically deterministic diseases. These include periodontal disease, increased predisposition to carious lesions, diabetes and nervous pathologies.
There are more than 10,000 genetically determined diseases, which can manifest themselves from birth or develop during life under the influence of lifestyle, individual dietary habits and attention to general health. Diagnosing and caring for patients and families affected by genetically deterministic diseases involves a number of actions.
Diagnosis and care of patients
Genetic counselling is an important step for prospective parents to find out, through invasive and sometimes risky tests, the genetic determinism of their child in order to know the pathologies to which they will be predisposed. Prenatal diagnosis, carried out by ultrasound examination, can detect physical changes and morphological abnormalities of the fetus, signaling the presence of malformations.
Neonatal diagnosis is another crucial stage, where screening methods are used immediately after birth to detect developmental defects in the fetus.
Genetically deterministic diseases are mainly determined prenatally and, although they cannot be directly prevented, early knowledge of them can help in appropriate management and treatment. Usually, these diseases have a familial component, and the family may observe correlations between general pathologies and those of other members.
For example, hypertension, diabetes and periodontal disease are just some of the diseases that may have a genetic determinism. However, there is no absolute rule regarding the development of these diseases in newborns, but there is an increased probability of occurrence. Knowing this risk may allow patients to delay or even prevent the onset of diseases by adopting healthy eating habits and a balanced lifestyle.
Genetically determined diseases cover all medical specialties and are a major public health problem. The genes responsible for these pathologies are expressing their potential earlier and earlier, which is why it is essential to pay particular attention and provide appropriate care to affected patients.
Dental number anomaly:
anodontia and hyperdontia.
Dental volume anomaly:
macrodontia and dental root anomalies.
Dental shape anomalies:
density in the tooth,
taurodontia and laceration.
Structural dental anomalies (dental dysplasia):
dental fluorosis and dental dyschromia.
The occurrence of diseases can often be linked to deficiencies in the order of gene sequence.
The sequence of amino acids that make up the gene sequences can undergo changes that can be beneficial for the development of the organism, but also mutations that, on the contrary, cause damage to the balance of the whole activity.
Heredity is an individual property that ensures the transmission of individual or species traits to offspring.
There is a biological similarity between parents and offspring. This is why there are many similar characters between people who come from the same family.
These traits, whether physical or behavioral, are due to variations in gene sequences.
Genes store, express and pass on genetic information. By perpetuating traits, similarities can be achieved over generations.
There are children who inherit genes even from distant relatives, so there is no rule to how genes are laid down.
Their ordering is closely related to the migration and mutation phenomena that occur constantly during development.
There is a close relationship between heredity and disease. The genes that are inherited do not always carry the information we want.
Often, they also carry certain sequences that give the patient a predisposition to certain genetically deterministic diseases.
These include periodontal disease, a predisposition to an increased incidence of carious lesions, diabetes or nervous pathologies.
There are a large number of genetically deterministic diseases, with an estimated 10 000 or more being genetically encoded.
They may manifest themselves from birth or may occur during the course of life, and are also influenced by the patient’s lifestyle, individual dietary habits and interest in general health.
The diagnosis and care of patients and families affected by genetically deterministic diseases includes a number of actions:
Genetic counselling – prospective parents can, through invasive and sometimes risky tests, find out the child’s genetic determinism in order to know the pathologies to which he/she will be predisposed
Prenatal diagnosis – ultrasound examination can detect early only physical changes, morphological abnormalities that the fetus presents as an expression of malformations
Neonatal diagnosis – immediately after birth there are screening methods that can detect developmental defects in the fetus.
Genetic diseases are determined prenatally. They cannot be prevented even if the development is known in advance.
Most often, they are familial diseases. Most of the time, the family is able to correlate general pathologies with those of other members.
Hypertension, diabetes or parotid disease are few examples of diseases that have genetic determinism.
It is not a rule that the newborn develops one of these diseases but there is still a high probability.
Knowing the risk, however, patients can delay or even prevent the onset of disease by following certain rules of diet and general conduct.
Genetically determined diseases cover all medical specialties, are a major public health problem and the genes responsible for the onset of pathologies are expressing their potential earlier and earlier.
Dental abnormalities may be the result of genetic changes that affect the normal development of teeth. Heredity plays an important role in the occurrence of these abnormalities, and genes may carry sequences that confer predisposition for certain dental diseases or general conditions. Diagnosis and care of patients and families affected by genetically deterministic diseases involves genetic counselling, prenatal and neonatal diagnosis, and appropriate risk management and treatment.
Understanding the impact of heredity and genetic factors in the development of dental anomalies can contribute to their early identification and the provision of personalized and preventive care. Finally, promoting optimal dental health and appropriate management of genetically deterministic diseases are essential to improve the quality of life of patients and the community as a whole.