Ancient Human Teeth Show That Stress Early in Development Can Shorten Life Span
Teeth are one of the most important parts of the human body, and make or mar an individual’s personality. The outer covering of the tooth is called enamel. It is one of the hardest tissues in the human body and covers the crown. Sometimes tea, coffee, cola, red wine and other sugary products stain the outer covering of the tooth. Thus a regular visit to the dentist is suggested for regular cleaning and polishing theses surfaces so as to enhance the life of the teeth. Enamel is a semi-transparent part and has yellow to gray-white colors and is composed of thin rods called enamel prisms, which helps in cementing the substance.
Tooth decay in a person happens due to the problems in tooth enamel because of specific bacteria found in plaque. Enamel consists of 90 percent minerals. When the enamel starts losing minerals it break down and a cavity is formed. Did you know teeth which have more “nooks and crannies” trap more food and leads to more tooth decay than those of smoother surfaces? Teeth of children and young adults are fragile and are more prone to acid attack.
A recent review published by George Armelagos anthropologist of Emory University in the Evolutionary Anthropology, highlighted on the strong evidence obtained from prehistoric research. He revealed that people who acquired tooth enamel defects whilst in the womb or in early childhood tended to die earlier. This paper is the first summary relating to prehistoric evidence. The main revelation of the study is that many of the adult diseases develop during fetal development and early childhood. According to Armelagos, who is also one of the founders of bioarcheology, usually studies skeletal remains in order to understand the relationship between how diet and disease affects human beings. According to him, teeth could be considered as picture into the past and tooth enamels depict picture of physiological events. Poor tooth enamel could be the result of poor diet or psychological stress which shows up as grooves on the tooth surface. One more study pertaining from the South African Pleistocence from a group of Australopithecines showed a decrease of 12 years in life expectancy associated with early enamel defects. Armelagos suggests that this type of prehistoric data pertaining to dental hygiene could be applied as an evidence to provide new insights into the research.
For tooth decay prevention it is recommended to use dental sealants. These sealants are thin-plastic like coating which are applied to chewing surfaces of the molars and helps in preventing the accumulation of plaque. Children and older people usually benefit from the use of tooth sealants. Fluroide is often recommended to protect against tooth decay. A good tooth paste with good amount of fluoride is essential for the long life of the teeth.
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