Among the most common malformations observed in the oral cavity are cleft lip/palate and malocclusions, being this last one considered by the World Health Organization, the third public health problem.
Malocclusions include the anterior open bite, a change in the vertical plane, that can be of two types: dental anterior open bite and skeletal anterior open bite. Cleft lip and cleft palate are the most common congenital malformations at birth. These malformations result from a failure in the normal craniofacial development process, which requires the coordination of a complex series of events. From the embryological point of view, the cleft lip/palate is a consequence of the failure of the first superior branchial arch to complete fusion with the frontonasal process during pregnancy.
All these malformations result from the interaction of both genetic and environmental factors. Among the environmental factors involved in the development of malocclusions are deleterious habits, mouth breathing and trauma. Several genes involved in the development of facial bones, muscles and teeth are also responsible for the development of malocclusions. In the same way, clefts development is a multifactorial trait where multiple genes are involved as well as environmental factor like alcohol consumption, tobacco, exposure to pesticides or toxic solvents, in a complex interaction.
All these factors may jeopardize the normal functioning of the stomatognathic system and the consequent quality of life of the patient. The purpose of this study was to review the literature concerning the genetic and environmental aspects involved in the development of these malformations.
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