How studies of twins can inform our understanding of dental morphology.

Townsend, Grant, Hughes, Toby ORCID: 0000-0001-8668-7744, Bockmann, Michelle ORCID: 0000-0001-8050-0993, Smith, Richard and Brook, Alan ORCID: 0000-0002-3484-3888
(2009) How studies of twins can inform our understanding of dental morphology. Frontiers of oral biology, 13. pp. 136-141.

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Two metaphors are presented to highlight concepts that could lead to a paradigm shift in dental studies of twins. The first, derived from the Song of Solomon in the Bible, refers to teeth as being twins. This viewpoint emphasises that each tooth should be viewed as a paired structure, not only with its antimere (within the same arch) but also with its isomer (in the opposing arch). The other metaphor provided by Waddington in 1957 is visual and involves 'an epigenetic landscape' that represents the processes of decision-making by cells during development. It likens the different stages of cellular decision-making to a ball rolling down an undulating landscape of interconnecting hills and valleys. This viewpoint helps to explain how distinct differences in dental phenotypes may arise both within and between monozygotic (MZ) co-twins due to relatively minor temporospatial effects during development. Measurements of maximum mesiodistal diameters of teeth in a pair of MZ twins, using calipers and also 2D and 3D imaging systems, have demonstrated that differences in dental crown size occur between antimeric pairs and between corresponding teeth of MZ co-twins. By defining new dental phenotypes that provide more comprehensive descriptions of tooth size and shape, and by drawing on the metaphors described, we are confident of providing new insights into the reasons for observed similarities and differences within, and between, the dentitions of twins. Our approaches will focus on multivariate analyses that take into account the paired arrangement of teeth and also explore epigenetic, as well as genetic and environmental, sources of variation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dentition, Tooth, Humans, Multivariate Analysis, Dental Research, Epigenesis, Genetic, Odontogenesis, Twins, Dizygotic, Twins, Monozygotic, Models, Biological, Functional Laterality, Twin Studies as Topic
Subjects: ?? RK ??
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences > School of Dentistry
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2009 11:49
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2024 15:16
DOI: 10.1159/000242406
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