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Patterns in dental enamel hypoplasia by sex and age at death in two archaeological populations

Griffin, R.C. and Donlon, D. (2009) Patterns in dental enamel hypoplasia by sex and age at death in two archaeological populations. Archives of Oral Biology, 54 (1). S93-S100. ISSN 0003-9969

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Aims: Levels of enamel hypoplasia in past populations are frequently used to study health. However, few studies have looked at patterning in the occurrence of different types of hypoplasia. In this pilot study, skeletal remains from an Iron Age tomb at Pella in Jordan were analysed for the presence of linear and pit enamel hypoplasia, to investigate enamel hypoplasia aetiology by comparison of the results obtained for adults and juveniles, and females and males. Methods and Results: The proportion of individuals with enamel hypoplasia was determined for males and females and for adults and juveniles using the F.D.I. Developmental Defects of Enamel (DDE) Index. Although males and females had a similar percentage of individuals affected, females had a higher prevalence of enamel hypoplasia per tooth than males. Adults had a higher prevalence of enamel hypoplasia than juveniles. In particular, adults had a higher prevalence of linear enamel hypoplasias and pit enamel hypoplasia arrays, but a similar prevalence of single pit enamel hypoplasia when both the permanent and deciduous dentitions were considered. These differences were largely due to different patterns and frequencies of enamel hypoplasia in deciduous teeth compared to permanent teeth. Conclusions: The different patterns of occurrence of the various forms of hypoplasia observed in this study imply that single pits may have a different aetiology to linear enamel hypoplasias and pit arrays. By investigating similar patterns in other archaeological populations, we may develop a better understanding of the specific causes of particular types of enamel hypoplasia, and may be able to more meaningfully interpret enamel hypoplasia data from past populations.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Issue date: December 2009. Available online 5 November 2008
Uncontrolled Keywords:palaeopathology; enamel defects; childhood health; aetiology; mortality
Subjects:R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Sciences
ID Code:917
Deposited On:20 Oct 2009 09:27
Last Modified:12 Apr 2012 16:29

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