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    Dental Detectives Study Fossil Teeth to Understand Human Diets

    smile teeth beauty Initial analysis of fossils discovered at Ol Duvai gorge in Tanzania suggested that early humans ate nuts. Recent studies using more refined technology have revealed that they had a varied diet.

    Key takeaways:

    • Teeth are preserved very well when fossilized and hold lots of information in the form of isotopes. Newer and more advanced techniques have helped to study teeth.
    • Thick enamel on the molars indicates that they were used for crushing foods such as grinding seeds or crushing the marrow out of bones.
    • Dental microwear refers to the marks left behind by food on teeth that result from food particles being dragged across and pressed into our teeth.

    Teeth from more recent fossils reveal more because they have more isotopes preserved in them. For example, the nitrogen in the teeth of Neanderthals can reveal whether the protein they ate came from plants or animals.

    Read the full story here

    Dr Nicholas Riley BDS 1996, MJDF 2012

    Nik qualified from Cardiff Dental School in 1996. He has always had a keen interest in clinical excellence, and further education. He recently gained his MJDF qualifications Nik dedicates much of his time to attending many world renowned courses in restorative, aesthetic and implant dentistry, so he can ensure that patients benefit from the most up to date solutions.