Your teeth can tell a lot about you. They are an excellent body part that changes according to our diet and age. Scientists and archeologists rely on these changes to trace down our ancestors’ evolution in diet, migration patterns, and average life expectancy—all of that vital information from just a few prehistoric dentures!!
The Significance Of Dental Archeology:
Out of all the available ancient human remains, why are scientists and archeologists inclined to study old dentures? Well, the answer is quite simple. Teeth are one of the sturdiest bones found in the human body. Hence, dentures or parts of dentures can last for a very long time. They can even last for centuries. Sometimes, a few remains of a tooth is the only link to the past and the evidence of human life archeologists can find. Luckily, the “only link” can tell us a lot about the lifestyle of the owner.
DNA Extraction And Modeling:
DNA is found almost in every body part, even in the teeth. Scientists extract the DNA preserved in dental remains to analyze it. DNA analysis often unravels new migration patterns. Experts find new patterns by matching the “unearthed” DNA with DNAs already fed into the database. Hence, through comparison, they can join the individual to its nearest ancestral cousins. If the cousins and the individual were miles apart, the team of experts has discovered a new migration pattern.
The DNA is not the only valuable experts can extract from a tooth. Specific markings and changes in the dental structure point out towards the diet of the individual. How does the structure of teeth change according to the diet?
The following comparison sheds light on the answer.
If an individual is a hunter, the diet will be full of meat. Thus, continuously eating meat can wear down the crown of canines and related structures. However, if the diets consist of farm foods, there will be traces of cavities. It seems like there was no professional dentistry back then. Nonetheless, you don’t have to worry about cavities nowadays; Angleton Family Dental and Orthodontics has you covered.
The Age Of The Individuals:
The denture’s structure slightly changes as we age, mostly occurring due to enamel wear down. Through these variations, scientists and dentists can reasonably estimate the age of individuals during their death. Estimating the ages of fossils found from a particular site can help evaluate the life expectancy of the group that used to live there eons ago.
From dental archeology, we learn one thing for sure:
our teeth are not only valuable during our lives but are also after our death. Remains of teeth are a great source of DNA analysis, detecting migratory patterns, dietary habits, and individuals’ ages. Cavities, a worldwide pandemic, are major dental concerns for kids and adults alike. However, cavities do provide meaningful archeological evidence to archeologists and scientists alike. In short, our teeth have a world of knowledge hidden in itself, and we cannot bear to harm them. For that reason call us at 979-308-4450 to secure an appointment to ensure your teeth are healthy and free from cavities!