Familial adenomatous polyposis is a rare genetic condition caused by a defective APC gene. The majority of individuals with the condition inherit the condition, although about twenty-five to thirty percent of patients experience a spontaneous genetic mutation. Familial adenomatous polyposis makes unnecessary tissue form in the rectum and large intestine. Some patients also have polyps in the upper intestinal tract, particularly the upper portion of the small intestine. Though the condition doesn't start out cancerous, there is an extremely high likelihood untreated polyps will become cancerous later in life. Most patients with familial adenomatous polyposis eventually have their large intestine surgically removed to mitigate the risk of developing cancer.
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One of the most common and strange complications of familial adenomatous polyposis is dental abnormalities. Studies have indicated anywhere from seventy to eighty percent of familial adenomatous polyposis patients have abnormal dental development and lesions in the bones of the jaw. Some patients had impacted teeth other than their wisdom teeth. Others had extra teeth or teeth missing from their skeletons. Another common abnormality was fused roots in the molars. The presence of these conditions may be an early indicator of the disease, especially considering how commonly the two coincide. However, there hasn't been enough research conducted to comprehensively explain the symptoms. It's possible the abnormalities occur because the APC gene is heavily associated with beta-catenin. This protein is important for healthy tissue formation. If the APC gene functions improperly, it's possible this could lead to improper dental development in addition to other common symptoms.
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