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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Continuous tooth eruption in Australian aboriginal skulls.

Increases in the distance from the cemento-enamel junction to the alveolar crest (CEJ-AC) have often been attributed to senile atrophy of the bone or to the effects of periodontitis, without reference to the condition of the alveolar crest. This study investigated the relationship between CEJ-AC distance, tooth wear, gender, site of the CEJ-AC measurements, and age in 161 pre-white-contact Australian aboriginal skulls. Individual teeth were included in the study when there was no evidence of dehiscence, periodontitis, or abscess cavity formation in the supporting alveolar bone. The CEJ-AC distances increased as the severity of attrition increased; in male skulls, CEJ-AC distances were greater than in female skulls for all categories of tooth wear. In general, CEJ-AC distances measured on the mesial aspects of teeth were greater than those recorded distally; lingual distances generally exceeded buccal recordings. The best explanation of these findings and similar reports in the anthropological literature is that continuous tooth eruption occurred without the concomitant coronal movement of alveolar bone. This conclusion has significant ramifications for anthropological, epidemiological, and clinical studies which use the CEJ and AC as reference points when measuring periodontal attachment loss (periodontitis).[1]


  1. Continuous tooth eruption in Australian aboriginal skulls. Danenberg, P.J., Hirsch, R.S., Clarke, N.G., Leppard, P.I., Richards, L.C. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. (1991) [Pubmed]
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