Send to

Choose Destination
Bioessays. 2018 Dec;40(12):e1800140. doi: 10.1002/bies.201800140. Epub 2018 Nov 2.

Tissue Mechanical Forces and Evolutionary Developmental Changes Act Through Space and Time to Shape Tooth Morphology and Function.

Author information

Department of Natural Sciences, Baruch College, City University of New York, New York City, NY 10010, USA.
Department of Orofacial Sciences and Program in Craniofacial Biology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
Department of Pediatrics and Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Efforts from diverse disciplines, including evolutionary studies and biomechanical experiments, have yielded new insights into the genetic, signaling, and mechanical control of tooth formation and functions. Evidence from fossils and non-model organisms has revealed that a common set of genes underlie tooth-forming potential of epithelia, and changes in signaling environments subsequently result in specialized dentitions, maintenance of dental stem cells, and other phenotypic adaptations. In addition to chemical signaling, tissue forces generated through epithelial contraction, differential growth, and skeletal constraints act in parallel to shape the tooth throughout development. Here recent advances in understanding dental development from these studies are reviewed and important gaps that can be filled through continued application of evolutionary and biomechanical approaches are discussed.


evolution; mechanical forces; morphogenesis; non-model organisms; progenitor cells; stem cells; teeth


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center