Just wanted to say what a great poster and a fascinating research project you have here!
I was just wondering if you looked at multiple teeth from the same individual at all? Would all teeth from a single individual provide the same banding and consequent age estimation? Why did you use single rooted teeth only, are these better suited for this type of analysis? Would diet or malnutrition have any influence on these findings? Apologies for all the questions, I think it’s a super interesting piece of research! 😊
Dear Catherine, thank you very much for your comment and all your questions! It is very much appreciated!
First of all, this was a pilot project with many time and sample restrictions. The sample I could collect was mostly based on teeth extracted for orthodontic treatments and that is mostly why I could ‘only’ have one tooth from each individual. The PhD project I am working on at the moment, amongst numerous other issues regarding the cementum, will try to fill that gap as well and provide an answer to the question you are asking.
As for the choice of single-rooted teeth, yes, it is mostly a matter of cross-section preparation and visualization of the increments. It has been showed in many studies that it is incredibly important to cut the sample perpendicularly to the root surface rather than to the vertical axis of the tooth, and single-rooted teeth are more manageable to fulfill that requirement.
Regarding your last question on diet and malnutrition, this is very much a still on-going investigation. Some authors found that it is possible to distinguish signs indicating pregnancy, as that it is a major body effort. So, I’d definitely say that conditions affecting the metabolism of calcium might be seen on the cementum, but this is still a matter to be addressed in future studies.
Lastly, I will write here some references regarding your questions, in case you’d like to have a look and know more about it:
About the sectioning methodology: Maat G. J. R., Gerretsen R. R. R., Aarents M. J., 2006. Improving the visibility of tooth cementum annulations by adjustment of the cutting angle of microscopic sections. Forensic Science International, 159S: S95-S99.
About the effects of pregnancies and illnesses, you can see:
- Penezic K., Porcic M., Urban P. K., Wittwer-Backofen U., Stefanovic S., 2020. Stressful times for women - Increased physiological stress in Neolithic females detected in tooth cementum. Journal of Archaeological Science 122, 105217
- Kagerer P. and Grupe G., 2001. Age-at-death diagnosis and determination of life-history parameters by incremental lines in human dental cementum as an identification aid. Forensic Science International, 118: 75-82.
Thank you again for your interest!
Thank you very much for your reply and taking the time to explain the analysis technique, it sounds like you did a good job getting as many teeth as you did! It’s obvious you have a lot of scope for future research too and I really look forward to seeing where this goes. Thank you for recommending the articles too I will definitely be checking them out. Good luck with the research, I hope to see more at future conferences!