The Science of History: Why the Egyptians Never Smiled for Pictures [NYU School of Medicine, New York Institute of Technology, Stony Brook School of Medicine]
Keywords:Paleontology, Tetracycline, Oral Health, Nubian
The Ancient Nubians have historically been renowned for their significant contributions to medicine. In spite of this, extremely poor oral health plagued this population. Paleopathological studies depict pronounced dental deterioration patterns far exceeding normal physiological progression. The advanced wear is popularly attributed to sand particle contamination of their daily diets. However, considering that individual wear mechanisms rarely act in isolation, we propose that adverse biochemical factors arising from regular consumption of tetracycline- fortified beer induced calcium malabsorption, and thus provided a synergistic diathesis in potentiating these effects.
We examine these implications within the context of prevalent therapeutic remedies, bone fluorescence labeling data, and sociocultural attitudes when making the link between tetracycline and the compromised integrity of teeth, while citing the emergence of antibiotics actually predating formally-accepted convention.
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