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Type: Journal article
Title: Genetic and environmental influences on human dental variation: A critical evaluation of studies involving twins
Author: Townsend, G.
Hughes, T.
Luciano, M.
Bockmann, M.
Brook, A.
Citation: Archives of Oral Biology, 2009; 54(Suppl 1):45-51
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 0003-9969
Statement of
Grant Townsend, Toby Hughes, Michelle Luciano, Michelle Bockmann and Alan Brook
Abstract: Utilising data derived from twins and their families, different approaches can be applied to study genetic and environmental influences on human dental variation. The different methods have advantages and limitations and special features of the twinning process are important to consider. Model-fitting approaches have shown that different combinations of additive genetic variance (A), non-additive genetic variance (D), common environmental variance (C), and unique environmental variance (E) contribute to phenotypic variation within the dentition, reflecting different ontogenetic and phylogenetic influences. Epigenetic factors are also proposed as important in explaining differences in the dentitions of monozygotic co-twins. Heritability estimates are high for most tooth size variables, for Carabelli trait and for dental arch dimensions, moderate for intercuspal distances, and low for some occlusal traits. In addition to estimating the contributions of unmeasured genetic and environmental influences to phenotypic variation, structural equation models can also be used to test the effects of measured genetic and environmental factors. Whole-genome linkage analysis, association analysis of putative candidate genes, and whole genome association approaches, now offer exciting opportunities to locate key genes involved in human dental development.
Keywords: Humans
Tooth Abnormalities
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Diseases in Twins
Maxillofacial Development
Twins, Dizygotic
Twins, Monozygotic
Models, Genetic
Genetic Variation
Genetic Linkage
DOI: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2008.06.009
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Dentistry publications

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