Abnormal tooth size and morphology in subjects with cleft lip and/or palate in the north of England.Eur J Orthod. 2009 Feb; 31(1):68-75.EJ
The aim of this study was to investigate tooth size and morphology in subjects with unilateral cleft palate (UCLP), bilateral cleft palate (BCLP), and isolated cleft palate (ICP) living in the north of England and to compare these with a control group. The measurements were undertaken retrospectively using dental study casts. To assess tooth size, the mesiodistal and buccolingual dimensions of each fully erupted permanent tooth were measured using digital Vernier callipers. The following morphological features of the teeth were assessed: upper incisor shovelling and crown form, the presence of Carabelli's tubercle on the upper molars, molar cusp number, and lower molar fissure pattern. Multilevel regression analysis was used to determine differences in tooth size, while chi-square tests and analysis of variance were used to assess differences in tooth morphology between the groups. Tooth size was reduced in all cleft groups in both jaws, with the smallest teeth being found in the ICP group. Upper lateral incisors on the cleft-affected side in UCLP and BCLP patients showed the greatest reduction in size. The upper central and lateral incisors on the cleft-affected side in the UCLP and BCLP groups were frequently hypoplastic or peg-shaped. Molar morphology in all the cleft groups was similar to that in the control group. Reduced tooth dimensions were found in both jaws in subjects with all types of clefts, suggesting a shared genetic basis. Additionally, the upper incisors were abnormal in morphology in UCLP and BCLP subjects with or without a cleft palate, suggesting shared local aetiological factors.