Etiology of Hypomineralized Second Primary Molars: A Prospective Twin Study

J Dent Res. 2019 Jan;98(1):77-83. doi: 10.1177/0022034518792870. Epub 2018 Aug 3.


The etiology of hypomineralized second primary molars (HSPM) is unclear, but genetic and environmental factors have been proposed. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative contribution of genes and environment to the etiology of HSPM and to identify potential environmental risk factors in a longitudinal twin cohort. Children from twin pregnancies ( N = 250) were recruited antenatally, and detailed demographic, health, and phenotypic data were collected at recruitment, 24- and 36-wk gestation, birth, and 18 mo of age. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D was quantified for mothers at 28-wk gestation and infants at birth. Dental examinations were conducted on the twins at 6 y of age to determine the presence, severity, and extent of HSPM per standardized criteria. To investigate associations of environmental risk factors with HSPM, multiple logistic regression models were fitted with generalized estimating equations to adjust for twin correlation. Within- and between-pair analyses were performed for unshared continuous variables: birthweight and birth 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Twin-twin concordance for monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) pairs was calculated and compared after adjusting for identified risk factors. A total of 344 twins underwent the 6-y-old dental assessment; HSPM occurred in 68 (19.8%). After adjusting for potential confounders, vitamin D levels at birth, infantile eczema, dizygosity, in vitro fertilization, socioeconomic position, and maternal smoking beyond the first trimester of pregnancy demonstrated the strongest associations with HSPM. Overall concordance for HSPM was 0.47 (95% CI, 0.32 to 0.62) with weak evidence ( P = 0.078) of higher concordance in MZ twins (0.63; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.89) as compared with DZ twins (0.41; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.58). After adjusting for known risk factors, there was no evidence ( P = 0.172) for an additive genetic influence. These findings suggest that shared and unshared environmental factors, such as maternal smoking later in pregnancy and infantile eczema, are important in the etiology of HSPM.

Keywords: deciduous; dental enamel; prospective studies; risk factors; tooth; twins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Child
  • Dental Enamel Hypoplasia / epidemiology*
  • Dental Enamel Hypoplasia / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Molar
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tooth, Deciduous*
  • Twins, Dizygotic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Twins, Monozygotic / statistics & numerical data*