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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Other Names for this Disease
  • Bull teeth
  • Large pulp chambers in the molars
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Your Question

I recently had a molar extracted and my dentist told me I had taurodontism. What is taurodontism? Is it rare? Can taurodontism be traced through my family line? Are other conditions associated with taurodontism?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is taurodontism?

Taurodontism is a disorder of tooth development and occurs most commonly in permanent molar teeth.[1][2] It refers to an elongation of the pulp chamber of the tooth, which can cause the tooth to lie deep in the jaw (aveolar process).[3] At this time the cause of taurodontism is unknown.
Last updated: 7/18/2013

How rare is taurodontism?

While taurodontism in baby (deciduous) teeth is rare,[2] taurodontism in general is not an uncommon trait. It is estimated to be found in about 2.5% of adult Caucasians.[3] In a recent study, the prevalence of taurodontism in premolars among Trinidadian patients was 4.79%.[4]
Last updated: 7/18/2013

Is taurodontism genetic?

The genetics of taurodontism is not well understood. It is likely to be caused by a combination of many different genes.[3]
Last updated: 10/18/2013

Can taurodontism be traced through my family line?

At this time, no genetic tests, research studies, or clinical trials are available for taurodontism that might help you trace taurodontism through your family line.
Last updated: 7/18/2013

Is taurodontism associated with other conditions?

Taurodontism is most commonly an isolated finding (i.e., is not associated with other conditions), however it can occur in syndromes including trichodentoosseous syndrome, otodental dysplasia, witkop syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, focal dermal hypoplasia syndrome, X chromosome aneuploidy, and Down syndrome.
Last updated: 7/18/2013

Who should I talk to if I feel a genetic disease may be running in my family?

If you feel a genetic disease is running in your family, we recommend that you contact a genetics clinic to discuss your concern with a genetics professional. Genetics clinics are a source of information for individuals and families regarding genetic conditions, treatment, inheritance, and genetic risks to other family members. More information about genetic consultations is available from Genetics Home Reference at To find a genetics clinic, we recommend that you contact your primary healthcare provider for a referral.

The following online resources can help you find a genetics professional in your community:
  • TheNational Society of Genetic Counselors provides a searchable directory of US and international genetic counseling services.
  • TheAmerican College of Medical Genetics has a searchable database of US genetics clinics.
  • The provides a list of US and international genetic centers, clinics, and departments.
  • The American Society of Human Genetics maintains a database of its members, which includes individuals who live outside of the United States. Visit the link to obtain a list of the geneticists in your country, some of whom may be researchers that do not provide medical care.
  • Last updated: 7/18/2013

    • Hirschmann PN. Dental radiology. In: Grainger RG, Allison D, Adam A, Kixon AK, Carty H, Sprigg A, Zerhouni E, Pettersson H. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging, 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone, Inc; 2001;
    • Rao A. Taurodontism of deciduous and permanent molars: report of two cases. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2006;
    • Taurodontism. Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. 1994; . Accessed 2/29/2008.
    • Pillai KG. Prevalence of taurodontism in premolars among patients at a tertiary care institution in Trinidad. West Indian Med J. 2007;