Modern anthropological research includes very sophisticated diagnostic methods. They allow us to obtain information that has not been available so far. The aim of this paper is to analyze, using current microscopic technologies, the Mesolithic dental material of one adult individual from Woźna Wieś (Poland). The present case study will focus on the analysis of enamel hypoplasia. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to count the number of perikymata building on the hypoplastic line. Linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) was diagnosed only on the right mandibular canine. The time of occurrence of environmental disturbance was estimated between about 4.2 and 4.9 years of age. The occlusal wall built the enamel hypoplasia with no more than three to four perikymata, meaning that the physiological stress had to have occurred over a fairly short period of time (about 30-40 days).
Linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) is treated as a nonspecific indicator of stress, but even so, many authors consider it the most reliable tool stress in anthropological research. Its analysis allows the reconstruction of health related to the socio-economic status of the group. This study documents and interprets patterns of LEH in Żerniki Górne (Poland), a settlement which was functional in the Late Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age. We examined two successive cultures: the Corded Ware Culture (CWC; 3200-2300BC) and the Trzciniec Culture (TC; 1500-1300BC). In total, there were 1486 permanent teeth (124 adult individuals). The frequency of LEH in the examined cultures shows a small rising trend. In these series from Żernik Górne, males showed a higher occurrence of LEH (16.5%) than females (13.4%). The earliest LEH appeared at similar ages at about 2.0/2.2 years and the last LEH occurred at about 4.2 years of age in both cultures. However, it is worth noting that periods associated with physiological stress were more common but not very long (four months on average) in the CWC. Longer stress periods (nine months on average) were associated with the TC.
The morphological diversity of the inner anatomy of root canals in human permanent teeth is an issue mainly described in endodontics research. In recent years, it is a relatively new point in anthropological studies because it varies by sex, geographic and ethnic circumstances. An unusual number of root canals or their specific systems can differentiate populations around the world. The multiplicity of available methods for detecting root canal systems helps to better understand their complexity; however, most cannot be applied to anthropology due to limitations that occur in the bioarcheological material. Thorough knowledge of the heterogeneity and internal anatomy of the root canals supplies numerous classification systems proposed and improved over the years by many authors. A limited number of studies in the anthropological literature and future research will shed light onto the internal tooth morphology in historical populations. The aim of this paper is to describe various classification systems of root canals applied in endodontics. However, due to the often poor state of preservation and damage of archaeological derived remains, it seems that the best method is the approach that is the simplest and least complicated.
Several studies have shown that sex estimation methods based on measurements of the skeleton are specific to populations. Metric traits of the upper long bones have been reported as reliable indicators of sex. This study was designed to determine whether the four long bones can be used for the sex estimation of an historical skeletal population from Radom (Poland). The material used consists of the bones of 169 adult individuals (including 103 males and 66 females) from the 18th and 19th centuries. Twelve measurements were recovered from clavicle, humerus, radius and ulna. The initial comparison of males and females indicated significant differences in all measurements (p < 0.0001). The accuracy of sex estimation ranged from 68% to 84%. The best predictor for sex estimation of all the measurements in Radom’s population was the maximum length of the radius (84%), and the ulna (83%), and the vertical diameter of the humeral head (83%). The Generalized Linear Model (GLM) detected the strongest significant relationship between referential sex and the vertical diameter of the humeral head (p < 0.0001), followed by the maximal length of the ulna (p = 0.0117). In other measurements of the upper long bones, GLM did not detect statistically significant differences.
An incomplete skeleton of a 3-year-old child with suspected congenital syphilis was found in the Radom area of Poland. Squama frontalis and zygomatic bones are characterized by significant bone loss. Radiographic pictures show a geographic destructive lesion of a serpiginous shape surrounded by a zone of reactive osteosclerosis in the squama frontalis. The radiographic findings included a slight widening and contour irregularities of the distal humeral metaphyses. The appearance of teeth did not suggest Hutchinson teeth, but the examination of the permanent molars showed signs of mulberry molars. Two teeth were tested for the presence of mercury. Chemical analysis did not indicate mercury accumulation (enamel: 0.07 μg/g, dentine: 0.14 μg/g, bone: 0.11 μg/g). Mercury values obtained for the examined samples were similar to those that are typical of healthy teeth in today’s individuals.
The prevalence of early childhood caries and its level varies. The present study was to establish the trends in dental caries and the impact of behavioural changes on the prevalence of caries in three-yearolds in Poland within a fifteen-year period. The results of a cross sectional survey carried out on 3439 three-year-olds in 2002, 2009, and 2017 using WHO criteria for dental caries (dmft, dmft=0, dmft≥4) and the results of a questionnaire filled by their parents with data on sociodemographics, oral hygiene and dietary habits, especially their sugar intake, were assessed. The dmft/dmfs index is applied to the primary dentition and is expressed as the total number of teeth/surfaces that are decayed, missing, or filled. The Cochran-Armitage test for trend was used to assess the fraction changes in time. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to assess the changes in dmft trends and the correlations between behavioural changes, awareness levels, and the prevalence of caries. Within the fifteen-year period minimal changes in the prevalence of early childhood caries (15% down), dmft≥4 (11.4% down) and a lower dmft (36% down) were accompanied by a better parent awareness about the causes of caries and better oral hygiene routines. Sugary beverages were no longer drank at least once a day, however sweetened milk, cake, doughnuts, and sweet rolls were consumed more often. Being female, living in an urban area, having parents more aware about caries, consuming sugary beverages less frequently, brushing teeth twice a day, and using a fluoride toothpaste promoted lower early childhood caries. Gradually healthier teeth are linked to an increased awareness of the parents and healthier routines. A too frequent exposure to sugar promotes early childhood caries. Should the changes of dietary habits be insufficient, brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste becomes crucial.
Contemporary populations exhibit numerous skeletal anatomical variations and the atlanto-occipital joint (articulation atlanto-occipitalis) is often the location of such variations. A female skeleton dated at 4000 BC and excavated at Meroe in the Sudan provides an example of numerous variations in the basilar skull and cervical vertebrae. These variations consist of the presence of a bilateral atlanto-occipital joint with a third trochanter, a unilateral arcuate atlas foramen and huge axial nutrient foramina.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between cigarette smoking and the condition of the teeth and periodontium and the oral health behavior of 18-year-olds. Cross-sectional studies on 1,611 18-year-olds from Poland were conducted in 2017. The questionnaire provided socio-economic data, information about health-related behavior (cigarette smoking and oral health behavior), and absence from school due to oral pain. The dentition status (DMFT and DMFS), periodontal status (gingival bleeding, depth of periodontal pockets, loss of attachment), and need for endodontic treatment or tooth extraction were clinically assessed. Cigarette smoking was reported by 25% of participants (15% reported every day smoking). Adolescents who smoked cigarettes regularly had a higher mean number of decayed teeth (2.40±3.21 vs. 1.95±2.66) and similar periodontal status. Cigarette smoking increased the risk of oral hygiene neglect (63% vs. 69%), dietary mistakes (25% vs. 13%), failure to make dental appointments (32% vs. 43%), occurrence of oral pain (28% vs. 27%), absence from school due to pain (13% vs. 6%), and the need for endodontic treatment or tooth extraction (11% vs. 5%). The socio-economic factors and sex of the subjects decreased the influence of smoking only on oral hygiene neglect. Cigarette smoking by adolescents seems to be an independent risk factor for serious dietary mistakes, failure to benefit from oral healthcare, and more dynamic damage of teeth, which lead to pain and even tooth loss. Therefore, these aspects should be included in the risk assessment of oral disease and incorporated into educational programs promoting a healthy lifestyle.
According to medical knowledge, physical activity plays a role in osteoarthritic changes formation. The impact of occupation on osteoarthritic changes development in past human populations is not clear enough, causing problems with interpretation. The aim of the current study is to examine the relationship between osteoarthritis and entheseal changes. Skeletal material comes from the late medieval, early modern population from Łekno (Poland). The sample consists of 110 males and 56 females (adults only). Osteophytes, porosity and eburnation were analyzed in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. Entheses on the humerus, radius, femur, and tibia were examined. Standard ranked categorical scoring systems were used for the osteoarthritic and entheseal changes examination.
Males with more developed osteophytes in the shoulder have more “muscular” upper limbs (higher values of muscle markers). Males with more developed osteophytes in the hip and knee are predicted to have more “muscular” lower limbs. Males with more developed osteoarthritis in the shoulder, wrist, hip, and knee exhibit more developed entheseal changes. Males with more developed entheses tend to yield more developed osteophytes (all joints taken together) and general osteoarthritis (all changes and all joints taken together). Females with more developed entheses have more developed osteoarthritis in the elbow, wrist, and hip. Individuals with more developed entheses have much more developed osteophytes. When all the three types of changes are taken together, more “muscular” females exhibit more developed osteoarthritis. The lack of uniformity of the results, wild discussions on the usage of entheses in activity patterns reconstruction and other limitations do not allow to draw unambiguous conclusions about the impact of physical activity on the osteoarthritis in past populations and further studies are needed.