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Free Content Review of the Embryology of the Teeth

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The embryology of the teeth was briefly covered in a previous review in this series. This present review addresses this embryology in more detail. The development of the teeth is a highly orchestrated, complex process that is the result of reciprocal inductions between the overlying first branchial arch oral cavity ectoderm, from which the cells that produce the enamel will develop, and the neural crest ectomesenchyme, from which the remaining tooth elements will arise. Early in development, the tooth germ grows and expands, and those cells that will form the mineralized components of the teeth differentiate. Once these formative cells differentiate, formation and mineralization of the dentin and enamel matrices occur. Eventually, the completed tooth will erupt into the oral cavity, and during eruption, the tooth roots become surrounded by the periodontal ligament, cementum, and supporting alveolar bone. There is also a discussion that notes some of the various abnormalities that can affect the teeth.

Learning Objective: The reader will understand the current theory as to how the human tooth configuration arose, as well as the embryology and anatomy of the teeth, the process of tooth eruption, alterations in the number and morphology of the teeth, and inflammatory conditions.

Keywords: AI = amelogenesis imperfecta; AMELX = amelogenin X-linked protein coding gene; AXIN2 = axin-like protein or axis inhibition protein; BARX1 = barH-like homeobox gene; BMP (2,4,7) = bone morphogenic protein; CBFA1 = osteoblastic-specific transcription factor; CSF-1 = colony-stimulating factor 1; DD = dentin dysplasia; DGI = dentinogenesis imperfecta; DIX1‐2,3,5,6,7 = homeobox genes; DLX2 = distal-less homeobox gene 2; DLX3 = DSPP = dentin sialophosphoprotein; EDA = ectodysplasin signaling molecule; EDAR = receptor for EDA; EDARADD = intracellular adapter protein EDAR-binding death domain adaptor; EGF = epidermal growth factor; ENAM = enamelin a protein coding gene; EPHA4 = ephrin type A receptor (tyrosine kinase receptor); FGF (4,8,9) = fibroblast growth factor; GAS1 = hedgehog co-receptor, growth arrest specific-1; IL-1α = Interleukin-1α (also known as hematopoietin 1); KLK4 = kallikrein-related peptidase 4, a protein coding gene; LHX6,7 = homeobox genes; Laminins = high molecular proteins of the extracellular matrix = aid in anchoring the keratinocytes to the = underlying dermis; MAX1/2 = homeobox genes; MCP-1 = monocyte chemotactic protein; MMP (20) = matrix metalloproteinase; MSX1, 2 = homeobox mshlike 1 and 2; NFkB = nuclear transcription factor; NGF-R = nerve growth factor receptor; OCP = octacalcium phosphate; OHAP = hydroxyapatite; PAX (9) = paired box transcription factor homeobox gene; PITX2 = homeobox gene; PTHRP = parathyroid hormone‐related protein; RUNT = RUNX = hedgehog co-receptor, runt-related transcription factor; RUNX2 = runt-related co-factor involved in osteoblastic and skeletal morphogenesis; SHH = sonic hedgehog protein; SPROUTY2 = growth factor-antagonist; TGF (α, β) = transforming growth factor; TNF = tumor necrosis factor; WNT (10A and B) = wingless/int1 family of secreted signaling molecules; p21 = cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor or cyclin-dependent-kinase interacting protein

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

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