Teeth capture the annals of human life

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The most important events in a person’s biography can be restored by examining his teeth. In dental tissues, birth, menopause, systemic diseases, and even imprisonment are imprinted.

This conclusion was made in a scientific article published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Researchers from New York University were looking for a way to find out the number of children in a woman and the length of the intervals between births by her skeleton. Such a method would be very useful to historians.

Scientists have suggested that such events should be reflected in the microstructure of dental cement. This is the name of the tissue covering the lower (immersed in the gum) part of the tooth. From the moment the latter is shown in the mouth, the cement regularly forms new layers.

This process is somewhat reminiscent of the growth of tree rings.

The authors of the new work used for analysis of 47 teeth of 15 people aged 25 to 69 years. The microstructure of cement has been studied by several methods. Moreover, the biographies of donors were known to experts.

Most of the necessary information was obtained from the immediate relatives of the subjects.

As a result, all the studied female teeth made it possible to date labor and the onset of menopause with high accuracy. That is, scientists have found what they were looking for.

But dental cement gave researchers even more information than they planned to receive. In both women and men, tissue captured systemic diseases and even periods of imprisonment.

“The tooth is not static and dead parts of the skeleton – sums up the first author Paula Cerrito. It is constantly changing and reacting to physiological processes.”

If the results of the researchers are subsequently confirmed by other teams, another method will appear in the arsenal of historians to judge the lifestyle of long-dead people.

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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.