Dental pulp calcifications in prehistoric and historical skeletal remains

Nicklisch, Nicole and Schierz, Oliver and Enzmann, Frieder and Knipper, Corina and Held, Petra and Vach, Werner and Dresely, Veit and Meller, Harald and Friederich, Susanne and Alt, Kurt W.. (2021) Dental pulp calcifications in prehistoric and historical skeletal remains. Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger, 235. p. 151675.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/86957/

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The prevalence of hard tissue formations in the dental pulp varies considerably. Beside ageing processes and irritations of the dental pulp, etiological associations with cardiovascular disease and dietary habits have been discussed, which are of particular research interest. The aim of this pilot study is to provide new insights on structural and etiological factors involved in the development of pulp calcifications by investigating skeletal remains from different (pre)historic periods. The jaws of 46 skeletons excavated in central Germany, were examined for the presence of pulp stones using digital volume tomography (DVT). A total of 1122 teeth were examined with all tooth types considered. To obtain information about the three-dimensional structure of pulp calcifications, micro-CT images were taken. Thin sections of three molars were histologically analysed. Potential dietary effects were studied by analysing stable isotope ratios of nitrogen (δ15N) in bone samples collected from each individual. The analysis indicates that pulp stones affect molars in particular and increase slightly with age and dental wear. The micro-CT scans and the histological analysis show that the structures are much more complex than presumed on the basis of DVT imaging. Individuals with lower δ15N-isotope values and thus with a potentially lower proportion of animal protein in their diet appear to be less affected by pulp stones. When comparing between archaeological and recent data, DVT analysis provides qualitatively comparable results. Micro-CT and histological images illustrate the excellent preservation of pulp calcifications and their complex structure. Differences in prevalence rates and δ15N-isotope values of Neolithic and historical individuals support the assumption that dietary habits and living conditions could have an influence on the development of pulp calcifications. Due to the small sample size these results require further validation.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Integrative Prähistorische und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie (IPNA Schünemann)
UniBasel Contributors:Vach, Werner and Alt, Kurt W.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:16 Feb 2022 14:34
Deposited On:16 Feb 2022 14:34

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