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Anomalies of Tooth Structure

Course Number: 651

Taurodontism

Taurodonts are molar teeth that present unusual tooth morphology, resembling the teeth of bulls (Figure 46).10,13,14 This may be a variation of normal tooth formation. Radiographically, taurodonts display elongated pulp chambers and short stubby roots that look like bull’s horns.8-10 Table 5 outlines three categories used to classify the severity of the deformity, originally described by Shaw in 1928: Hypotaurodontism (Mild), Mesotaurodontism (Moderate), and Hypertaurodontism (Severe.)13-15 The severity is determined by the increasing apical displacement of the pulpal floor.5,13-15 Permanent molar teeth are more frequently involved than primary teeth with either unilateral or bilateral presentation.5 The prevalence is variable but approximates 3% of the U.S. population.5 Taurodontism is associated with a number of syndromes indicating possible linkage to chromosomal aberrations in tooth development.5,13,14

Periapical radiograph of mesotaurodont teeth #18 and #19

Figure 46.

Periapical radiograph of mesotaurodont teeth #18 and #19

Table 5. Taurodontism Classification.5,13,14

CategoryDegreeDescription
HypotaurodontismMildModerate enlargement of the pulp chamber compared to the roots
MesotaurodontismModerateLarge pulp chamber with short separate roots
HypertaurodontismSeverePulp chamber nearly reaches root apices before dividing into stubby separate roots