Embryonic development of teeth which is also called as Odontogenesis, relies on a series of reciprocal inductive signaling between two adjacent tissues, an epithelium and a mesenchyme. Regulatory genes are used sequentially throughout the development of the tooth organ, i.e. from tooth initiation to tooth patterning and histogenesis of the dental tissues which contribute to signalling pathways. Important signalling pathways that are involved in organogenesis include BMP, FGF, TNF, Shh, and Wnt pathways. In particular, the characteristics of odontogenic tumors and cysts appear to depend upon the molecular mechanisms associated with tooth development, bone metabolism and malignant potential of tumors. The detection of common signalling molecules in both healthy dental tissues and tumor samples suggest that the abberant activation of these genes might play a role in oncogenesis. This review presents the co-relationship between the molecular basis of genetic elements and relation between common odontogenic cysts and tumors.
Keywords Odontogenesis, odontogenic cysts, odontogenic tumors, regulatory genes.