Taurodontism in Modern Populations

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Jill Sears


Taurodontism is a variation in root formation, resulting in an enlarged pulp chamber (Mena, 1971). This character has been used as a marker for differences between populations. Sex-linked disorders, autosomal chromosome disorders, and environmental factors have been reported to cause taurodontism (Reichart and Quast, 1975; Aldred and Crawford, 1988; Varrela and Alvesalo, 1989). When examining the mode of inheritance of taurodontism, it appears to be a polygenic trait that is controlled by only a few genes. At least one of these genes appears to be located on the X-chromosome. In addition, taurodontism appears to be linked to congenitally missing teeth, however these traits are not interdependent. Further study into the mode of inheritance of taurodontism and its relation to hypodontia is necessary to uncover the significance of taurodontism and its possible application to population studies. However, due to procedural differences in the assessment of this trait, the results between studies are difficult to compare. Therefore, a standard set of measurements is needed to make meaningful comparisons between studies of taurodontism.