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A World View of Bioculturally Modified Teeth$
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Scott E. Burnett and Joel D. Irish

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054834

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054834.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Intentional Dental Modification and Oral-Dental Health in Western Micronesia

Intentional Dental Modification and Oral-Dental Health in Western Micronesia

(p.193) 13 Intentional Dental Modification and Oral-Dental Health in Western Micronesia
A World View of Bioculturally Modified Teeth

Rona Ikehara-Quebral

E. Melanie Ryan

Nicolette Parr

Cherie Walth

Jolie Liston

Michael Pietrusewsky

Michele Toomay Douglas

University Press of Florida

Intentional dental modification was observed in Pre-Latte and Latte Period bioarchaeological samples from western Micronesia. These purposeful cultural alterations include multilinear incisions and horizontal abrading of labial tooth surfaces in the Mariana Islands and tooth blackening in Palau. To understand the biological impacts of intentional modification, over ten pre-European Contact (before AD 1521) dental samples from the Mariana Islands were examined to test for a correlation between intentionally modified teeth and two indicators of oral-dental health: caries and periapical abscesses. Although differences in data collection methods and poor bone preservation prevented the use of both indicators across the board, preliminary results indicate that horizontal abrading in at least one sample appears to be associated with carious lesions while dental incising is not.

Keywords:   Micronesia, Mariana Islands, Palau, oral-dental health, dental modification, abrading, incising, tooth blackening

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