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The Occurrence and Appearance of Periapical lesions in an Early Iron Age Population from Sweden 
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
Division of Cariology and Endodontology, Department of Dental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet.
Division of Cariology and Endodontology, Department of Dental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet.
The National Board of Forensic Medicine, Forensic Odontology Section.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Periapical lesions were recorded by both visual and radiographic examination in an Early Iron Age population from Alvastra, Östergötland, Sweden. Only those individuals with discernible bone destruction were included in the study. The study comprised 37 adult individuals from both sexes of a total of 90 adult individuals among the population, thus the prevalence of visual periapical lesions in the population was 41.1%. Out of 819 tooth sockets, 83 (10.1%) showed signs of periapical lesions, mainly caused by chronic inflammations. Cyst-like lesions were recorded in five cases of which four were in a possible acute phase. Around thirty-two percent of the periapical lesions were associated with severe carious. The corresponding rate for severe attrition was 14.4%. No significant difference in frequency of lesions was observed between sexes and age groups. The most affected tooth was the first maxillary molar followed by the first molar in the mandible. Radiographic examination proved useful in detecting additional pathological processes, other than those observed by visual examination.

Keyword [en]
apical periodontitis, visual and radiographic examination, Early Iron Age, Sweden, prevalence
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Osteoarchaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37291OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-37291DiVA: diva2:298354
Available from: 2010-02-22 Created: 2010-02-22 Last updated: 2010-12-14
In thesis
1. Oral Disease and Health Patterns: Dental and Cranial Paleopathology of the Early Iron Age Population at Smörkullen in Alvastra, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Oral Disease and Health Patterns: Dental and Cranial Paleopathology of the Early Iron Age Population at Smörkullen in Alvastra, Sweden
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In skeletal remains of ancient populations, evidence of dental and craniofacial pathology is often well preserved in the form of lesions on the teeth or bones. Meticulous, detailed recording of these lesions provides baseline data on which a realistic assessment can be made of the probable impact of dental diseases and its sequelae on health of these earlier populations.

In the present thesis, dental and cranial pathology were recorded in the remains of an Iron Age population, with special reference to the possible impact of such conditions on general health and well-being. The skeletal remains had been excavated early last century from the burial ground Smörkullen, Alvastra, Östergötland, in Eastern Central Sweden: osteological analyses showed that the material comprised the remains of 65 subadult individuals and 104 adult individuals of both sexes. The dental status of most of the adult individuals was poor. Calculus, periodontitis, moderate and severe carious lesions and periapical infections were recorded. In contrast, subadult showed less evidence of dental disease. The results indicate that the perception of health in adults was probably negatively affected by their poor oral status. The dental status of subadults, on the other hand, was unlikely to have had a negative impact on their general well-being. A sex difference was observed in the material, males tending to more ongoing disease than females. Overall, the frequencies of both dental and cranial pathologies increased with age.

Caries frequency in the material was noticeable higher than in numerous other studies in Scandinavian populations. Although the high caries rates at Smörkullen may be attributable to a diet rich in carbohydrates, the result may to some extent have been influenced by observer experience. Caries rates in other populations are likely to be under-estimated in comparison with Smörkullen. However, methodological factors alone cannot not explain all the observed differences.

The recording of cranial pathologies disclosed malnutrition and upper respiratory problems in all age groups in the Smörkullen material. This most certainly affected their well-being. In some cases the pathology observed was directly associated with life-threatening conditions. Analyses of combinations of pathologies suggest that a combination of linear enamel hypoplasias and cribra orbitalia, mainly observed in those who died before the age of fifteen, may have been related to a lower probability of survival. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Stockholm University, 2010. 96 p.
Series
Theses and papers in osteoarchaeology, ISSN 1652-4098 ; 6
Keyword
Smörkullen, Alvastra, Sweden, Early Iron Age, dental disease, cranial lesion, caries diagnostics, pathways of infections, dietary patterns, environment, health
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Osteoarchaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37301 (URN)978-91-7447-011-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-03-26, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of doctoral defence the following publications were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: manuscript. Paper 2: manuscript. Paper 3: manuscript.Available from: 2010-03-04 Created: 2010-02-22 Last updated: 2010-12-09Bibliographically approved

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