Dental Caries: New Data from Imperial Roman Necropolis

Paola Catalano, Carla Caldarini, Flavio De Angelis, Stefania Di Giannantonio, Simona Minozzi, Walter Pantano


The relations between oral disease and living conditions and health of a population are important to reconstruct the biological status of a population.

The incidence of caries was considered by the calculation of frequencies for individual and for tooth but also by the estimate of index of caries et extraction in four Roman imperials necropolis. The analysis indicates a general increase in carious affection in mesio-distal direction, and mandibular teeth seem to be lesser affected than maxillary ones. The comparison among the necropolis seem to confirm a different socio-economic organization: sub-urban contexts probably had a simple carbohydrates rich diet and this may have encouraged the growth of carious injuries. Conversely the lower frequency of caries in Vallerano, probably associated to small farming communities, could be attributed to a diet with an highest protein/carbohydrate. In both contexts, however, the degree of dental hygiene was a significant cause of caries.

Key words: Roman Imperial Age - Caries - Index of Caries and Extraction

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