Prof.(Dr.) Pradyumna Misra
A recent cadaveric study involving the pearly white has all our attention.
Now what was the study, what were the findings and what do they entail? A research team looked at almost 50 human teeth from people with known medical history and lifestyle data, using imaging techniques to reveal cementum bands. They then linked these bands to life stages, and discovered connections between life events and tooth formation.
To quote the lead author of the study, "Our results make clear that the skeleton is not a static organ, but rather a dynamic one".
Cementum is a dental hard tissue that starts forming from the stage of tooth eruption and continues thereon. As with other bodily tissues, when formed in increments, the increment, the incremental lines/ growth lines say a lot about the state of surrounding tissue and body in general at the time of their formation and are linked to physiological stressors that impact normal tissue formation.
The findings showed cementum markers not only correlating to reproductive events and menopause but also systemic illnesses, incarceration, and drastic lifestyle changes such as a move from a rural environment to an urban center.
Is it a trustworthy inscription? Can they be used to trace the paths drawn out in history? How reliable are they to trace and time the course of illnesses in an individual? All that remains to be confirmed, but the results do look very promising and most definitely exciting, opening new doorways. And a personal, biological archive in the mouth that takes note of more than just the taste tinglers, which is definitely something to look forward to.