Influence of genetic and environmental factors on oral diseases and function in aged twins

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Abstract

This study was conducted to quantify the genetic and environmental contributions to oral disease and function in twins. Participants were middle-aged and old twins, 116 monozygotic and 16 dizygotic pairs whose mean age was 66·1 ± 10·3 (SD) years. Number of teeth, percentage of decayed, filled and missing teeth and periodontal status were recorded as indicators of oral disease. The widths of upper and lower dental arch served as indicators of morphological figures. Furthermore, stimulated salivary flow rate, occlusal force and masticatory performance were measured as indicators of oral function. Univariate genetic analysis with monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs was conducted to detect the fittest structural equation model of each outcome. Both number of teeth and periodontal status fitted the model composed of common environmental factor and unique environmental factor. Decayed, filled and missing teeth, morphological figures and measurements of oral function fitted the model composed of additive genetic factor and unique environmental factor. The model fitting of each measurement suggested that periodontal disease was mainly affected by environmental factors, while morphological figures and oral functions were influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.

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