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Genes linked to babies' first teeth time

8 March 2010
Appeared in BioNews 548

Babies with few teeth on their first birthday are more likely to need corrective dental surgery by age 30, a study has found. The UK and Finnish researchers also discovered ten genetic variants influencing tooth development during a baby's first year.

The team took blood samples from 6,000 UK and Finnish people whose health was followed from their mother's early pregnancy to adulthood.

Using genome-wide association studies on DNA in the blood, they found ten genetic variants linked to the timing of a baby's first tooth and the number of teeth at age one. One was associated with a 35 per cent increase in the likelihood of needing teeth moving or straightening.

Five of the genetic variants - or SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) - were within genes associated with growth and organ development, suggesting the findings may have implications beyond teeth.

'The discoveries of genetic and environmental determinants of human development will help us to understand the development of many disorders which appear later in life', said lead author Professor Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin from the School of Public Health at Imperial College, London.

'We hope also that these discoveries will increase knowledge about why fetal growth seems to be such an important factor in the development of many chronic diseases'.

Babies with few teeth by age one 'more likely to need an orthodontist in the future'
Independent |  27 February 2010
Genes Behind Tooth Development Discovered
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Gene variants to detect baby teeth development discovered |  27 February 2010
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Irish Health |  27 February 2010
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Nature |  4 March 2010
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