Hypodontia - Etiology

Etiology

The cause of isolated missing teeth remains unclear, but the condition is believed to be associated with genetic or environmental factors during dental development. Missing teeth have been reported in association with increased maternal age, low birth weight, multiple births and rubella virus infection during embryonic life.

There is a possible correlation between tooth agenesis and innervation. A relationship was also postulated between abnormalities of the brainstem and the presence of agenesis.

Hypodontia is often familial, and can also be associated with genetic disorders such as ectodermal dysplasia or Down syndrome. Hypodontia can also been seen in people with cleft lip and palate.

Among the possible causes are mentioned genetic, hormonal, environmental and infectious.

Etiology due to hormonal defects: idiopathic hypoparathyroidism and pseudohypoparathyroidism. Exists the possibility that this defect depends on a moniliasis (candidiasis, candida endocrinopathy syndrome).

Environmental causes involving exposure to PCBs (ex.dioxin), radiation, anticancer chemotherapeutic agents, allergy and toxic epidermal necrolysis after drug.

Infectious causes of hypodontia: rubella, candida.

The Journal of the American Dental Association published preliminary data suggesting a statistical association between hypodontia of the permanent teeth and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The study shows that women with EOC are 8.1 times more likely to have hypodontia than are women without EOC. The suggestion therefore is that hypodontia can serve as a "marker" for potential risk of EOC in women.

Also the increased frequency of hypodontia in twins and low birth weight in twins with hypodontia suggests that environmental factors during perinatal are responsible hypodontia.

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