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Genes associated with early tooth development identified, dental care advancements may follow
Updated: 2/26/2010 9:00:14 PM
 

Genes associated with early tooth development identified, dental care advancements may follow Researchers at the School of Public Health at Imperial College London have reportedly identified genes that influence tooth development in the first year of life, a discovery that may lead to future innovations in the field of dental care.

In the study, scientists analyzed the genetic code of 6,000 people in the UK and Finland and tracked them from birth until adulthood. They identified five genes linked to both the occurrence of first tooth eruption and the number of teeth at age one.

Additionally, the researchers found that one of the genes was associated with a 35 percent elevated risk of requiring orthodontic treatment by age 30.

The study's authors believe that the identification of the genes may help scientists understand the development of dental disorders.

"We hope that these discoveries will increase knowledge about why foetal growth seems to be such an important factor in the development of many chronic diseases," said lead researcher Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin.

Low-income children who have their first dental exam by age one are less likely to visit emergency rooms for oral health problems, according to a Children's Dental Health Project report.

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