Stress pp 70-80 | Cite as

Sub-threshold Effects of Maternal Alcohol Consumption on Craniodental Development

  • Jules A. Kieser
Part of the Studies in Biology, Economy and Society book series (SBES)


Fluctuating dental asymmetry was used as an indicator of developmental stress in a sample of 20 children exposed to mild levels of maternal alcohol abuse. To probe the differences in timing of the insult, casts were selected in the mixed dentition stage, with juxtapositioning of the second deciduous molar and the first permanent molar. Fluctuating asymmetry was found to be significantly elevated in the deciduous dentition when compared to normal controls, suggesting destabilization during 3 to 5 months intra utero. The finding that the levels of fluctuating asymmetry did not differ between mild and severe abusers of ethanol suggests that there might not be a dose response to transplacental exposure to ethanol.


Fluctuate Asymmetry Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Human Biology Developmental Stability Maternal Alcohol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ali, F. and T.V.N. Persaud (1988) ‘Mechanisms of fetal alcohol effects: role of acetaldehyde’, Experimental Pathology, vol. 33, pp. 17–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anokute, C.C. (1986) ‘Epidemiology of spontaneous abortions: the effects of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking’, Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 78, pp. 771–5.Google Scholar
  3. Brooke, O.G., H.R. Anderson, J.M. Bland, J.L. Peacock and C.M. Stewart (1989) ‘Effects on birth weight of smoking, alcohol, caffeine, socioeconomic factors and psychosocial stress’, British Medical Journal, vol. 298, pp. 795–801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chan, T., R. Bowen, M. O’Keefe and B. Lanigan (1991) ‘Ocular manifestations in fetal alcohol syndrome’, British Journal of Ophthalmology, vol. 75, pp. 524–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clarke, G.M. (1992) ‘Fluctuating asymmetry: a technique for measuring developmental stress of genetic and environmental origin’, Acta Zoologica Fennica, vol. 191, pp. 31–5.Google Scholar
  6. Davis, P.J., J.W. Partridge and C.N. Storrs (1982) ‘Alcohol consumption in pregnancy. How much is safe?’, Archives of Diseases of Childhood, vol. 57, pp. 940–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Florey, C.D. and D. Taylor (1992) ‘Introduction to fetal alcohol syndrome’, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 21, pp. S6 - S7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gilani, S. and T.V.N. Persaud (1992) ‘Embryonic development of the chick following exposure to ethanol, acetaldehyde and cyanamide’, Annals of Anatomy, vol. 174, pp. 305–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Groeneveld, H.T. and J.A. Kieser (1991) ‘A new perspective on fluctuating odontometric asymmetry in South African Negroes’, American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 3, pp. 655–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jones, K. and D.W. Smith (1973) ‘Recognition of the fetal alcohol syndrome in early infancy’, Lancet, vol. ii, pp. 999–1001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kaminski, M., A. Rostand, N. Lelong, P. Dehaene, C. Delestret and C. Klenbertrand (1989) ‘Consomation d’alcool pendant la grossesse et caracteristiques neo-natales’, Journal d’Alcoologie, vol. 1, pp. 35–46.Google Scholar
  12. Kieser, J.A. (1989) Human Adult Odontometrics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  13. Kieser, J.A. (1992) ‘Fluctuating odontometric asymmetry and maternal alcohol consumption’, Annals of Human Biology, vol. 19, pp. 513–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kieser, J.A. and H.T. Groeneveld (1986) ‘Fluctuating odontometric asymmetry in a South African caucasoid population’, Journal of the Dental Association of South Africa, vol. 41, pp. 185–9.Google Scholar
  15. Kieser, J.A. and H.T. Groeneveld (1988) ‘Fluctuating odontometric asymmetry in an urban South African Black population’, Journal of Dental Research, vol. 67, pp. 1200–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kieser, J.A. and H.T. Groeneveld (1994) ‘Effects of prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke on developmental stability in children’, Journal of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology, vol. 14, pp. 43–7.Google Scholar
  17. Kieser, J.A., H.T. Groeneveld and C.B. Preston (1986a) ‘Fluctuating odontometric asymmetry in the Lengua Indians of Paraguay’, Annals of Human Biology, vol. 13, pp. 489–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kieser, J.A., H.T. Groeneveld and C.B. Preston (1986b) ‘Fluctuating odontometric asymmetry as a measure of odontogenic canalization in man’, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 71, pp. 437–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kline, J., Z. Stein and M. Hutzler (1987) ‘Cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana: varying associations with birthweight’, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 16, pp. 44–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kuzuma, J.W. and R.J. Sokol (1982) ‘Maternal drinking behaviour and decreased uterine growth’, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 6, pp. 396–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Larroque, B. (1992) ‘Alcohol and the fetus’, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 21, pp. 508–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Larsson, G., A.B. Bohlin and R. Tunnel (1985) ‘Prospective study of children exposed to variable amounts of alcohol in utero’, Achives of Diseases of Childhood, vol. 60, pp. 316–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lee, M. (1987) ‘Early fetal growth and development in mice chronically exposed to ethanol during gestation’, Growth, vol. 51, pp. 146–53.Google Scholar
  24. Lemoine, P., H. Harousseau, J.P. Borteyru and J.C. Menuet (1968) ‘Les enfants de parents alcooliques: anomalies observées’, Quest Medical, vol. 25, pp. 476–82.Google Scholar
  25. Little, R. ’(1977) ‘Moderate alcohol use during pregnancy and decreased infant birthweight’, American Journal of Public Health, vol. 67, pp 1154–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Livshitz, G. and E. Kobyliansky (1989) ‘Study of genetic variance in the fluctuating asymmetry of anthropometric traits’, Annals of Human Biology, vol. 16, pp. 121–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Livshitz, G., L. Davidi, E. Kobyliansky, D. Ben Amitai, Y. Levi and P. Merlob (1988) ‘Decreased developmental stability as assessed by fluctuating morphometric traits in preterm infants’, American Journal of Medical Genetics, vol. 29, pp. 793–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Malina, R.M. and P.H. Buschang (1984) ‘Anthropometry in normal and mentally retarded males’, Annals of Human Biology, vol. 11, pp. 515–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mayhall, J.T. and S.R. Saunders (1986) ‘Dimensional and discrete dental trait asymmetry relation’, American Journals of Physical Anthropology, vol. 69, pp. 403–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Persaud, T.V.M. and G.O. Sam (1992) ‘Prenatal influence of alcohol following a single exposure in two inbred strains of mice’, Annals of Anatomy, vol. 174, pp. 301–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rosett, H.L., L. Weiner, B. Zukerman, S. McKinlay and K.C. Edelin (1980) ‘Reduction of alcohol consumption during pregnancy with benefits to the newborn’, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 4, pp. 178–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rostand, A., M. Kaminsky and N. Lelong (1990) ‘Alcohol use in pregnancy, craniofacial features and fetal growth’, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 44, pp. 302–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Russell, M. and J.B. Skinner (1988) ‘Early measures of maternal alcohol use as predictors of adverse pregnancy outcome’, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 12, pp. 824–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sulik, K.K. and M.C. Johnston (1983) ‘Sequence of developmental alterations following acute ethanol exposure’, American Journal of Anatomy, vol 166, pp. 257–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Townsend, G.C. (1983) ‘Fluctuating dental asymmetry in Down syndrome’, Australian Dental Journal, vol. 28, pp. 39–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Townsend, G.C. and T. Brown (1981) ‘Dental asymmetry in Australian Aborigines’, Human Biology, vol. 52, pp. 661–73.Google Scholar
  37. Van Valen, L. (1962) ‘A study of fluctuating asymmetry’, Evolution, vol. 16, pp. 125–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Waddington, C.H. (1942) ‘Canalization of development and the inheritance of acquired characters’, Nature, vol. 150, pp. 563–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Walpole, I., S. Zubrick and J. Ponhe (1989) ‘Is there a fetal effect with low to moderate alcohol use before or during pregnancy?’, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 44, pp. 297–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wilson, J.C. and F.C. Fraser (1977) Handbook of Teratology (New York: Plenum).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zakharov, V.M. (1992) ‘Population phenogenetics: an analysis of developmental stability in natural population’, Acta Zoologica Fennica, vol. 191, pp. 7–30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Galton Institute 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jules A. Kieser

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations