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Missing teeth
Multiple spaces occurring due to missing
permanent molars
Missing teeth radiograph
Panoramic X-ray shows missing
permanent molars (arrows)

Were you born with an inherited condition in which you had missing teeth (in other words, not all of your teeth grew in normally as you grew up)?

Researchers at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry are interested in detecting new genes that are responsible for this condition, which is also called "congenital tooth agenesis."  We also want to know how frequently such tooth agenesis is found in the general population.

Four tooth agenesis-causing genes have already been identified.  The laboratory of Dr. Rena D'Souza in the Department of Biomedical Sciences has been involved in the discovery of several mutations and functional defects in these genes.  Recently we have included the Ectodysplasin (EDA) gene in our studies because there is a possibility of finding a cure in the near future for people who have EDA-caused tooth agenesis.  Finding more genes responsible for congenitally missing teeth may unravel the genetic code for tooth formation and lead to new forms of treatment for people with this condition.  Investigators in the D'Souza laboratory are recruiting families and individuals who have a history of congenitally absent teeth.  Individuals who believe that they meet the study criteria below and are interested in participating in our research efforts should contact:

Gabriele Mues


Anyone with proven congenitally missing teeth is welcome.  There should be no other major congenital health problems.  A family history of missing or misshapen teeth is helpful, and participation of family members in the study is encouraged.


We will ask you to fill out a one-page questionnaire about your and your family's dental and health history. As a study participant, you will be required to read and sign a consent form to protect your rights as a human study subject.

We will send you a swab with instructions on how to obtain a cell sample from the inside of your mouth.  It is about as simple as brushing your teeth.  We will prepare DNA from your cell sample and look for evidence of changes in tooth agenesis-causing genes.