Genetics and non-syndromic facial growth

James K. Hartsfield, Lorri A. Morforda, Liliana M. Otero, David W. Fardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Just as pediatricians and endocrinologists are interested in understanding statural growth patterns and the prediction of adult height, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, and oral/maxillofacial surgeons need to be knowledgeable about a patient’s facial growth patterns to effectively treat them. Some variations in facial growth have been clinically associated with a poor esthetic self-image, malocclusion formation and the development of physical and/or functional deformity. To understand how different genetic factors influence growth and development patterns, scientists and clinicians study developmental sequences, malformations and syndromes. While understanding this general information can be clinically valuable when making treatment decisions for an individual and their family, the greatest contribution of genetics in clinical practice may be in the form of personalized or "precision" medicine in the general population. Precision medicine takes into account knowing a portion or all of a patient’s specific DNA code to estimate how their genetic makeup will influence growth and development patterns. Ultimately, the identification of key genetic variations at the level of the individual patient can improve growth predictions for that patient and may be indicative of how well they will respond to specific forms of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pediatric Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Facial growth
  • Genetics
  • Malocclusion
  • Oral facial genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Genetics(clinical)


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