Permanent Molars Date Back to the Womb

Adult molars begin development while the fetus is in the womb. It molar carries a record of vital information throughout the individual’s life.

Dentin in the tooth is the layer underneath the enamel. According to Science Daily, dentin stores health information based on the mother’s condition during pregnancy.

Similar to reading the rings of a tree trunk, researchers can examine the rings in the dentin layer. When vital elements are lacking, dark streaks and other microscopic defects develop. The durable material in teeth can last for hundreds of years after body death.

Lack of or an abundance of vitamin D is evident in the dentin. Archeologists when examining adult molars can tell whether the individual had lived in a well-lit environment and received plenty of sunshine.

Adult Molars of Colonial Settlers in Canada

A team of researchers studied adult molar tooth samples from two skeletons that dated back to the 1800’s in Quebec. One sample was from a three-year old girl. It showed she had had rickets as a child and had survived it. Her adult molar had not yet descended from the gum. However, it showed a Vitamin D deficiency in her mother while pregnant. This deficiency possibly led to her early death.

The tooth sample from a young man also showed the Vitamin D deficiency of his mother during pregnancy. He also experienced an early death and the deficiency may have been a factor.

At that time, people did not understand the importance of sunlight or Vitamin D for pregnant mothers. Based on the weather and cultural activities, it’s likely that the mothers had stayed indoors and lacked exposure to sunlight.

Fast-forwarding to modern times, many mothers today receive prenatal care. They know the importance of Vitamin D and sunshine during pregnancies. The adult molars of today’s children should carry better intergenerational records of health.

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