Tooth enamel is not remodelled during life and preserves a durable archive of early lifetime experiences.
The age of onset and duration of enamel formation varies between teeth so different teeth preserve a record of different stages of life.
We are studying the structure and composition of tooth enamel in ancient humans, using a range of techniques, unlocking evidence of
A human tooth crown captured using the Alicona 3D InfiniteFocus imaging microscope.
Perikymata are a series of wavelike ridges and troughs on the enamel surface, formed by the incremental growth in enamel.
The number and spacing of perikymata can provide information about
Enamel hypoplasias are defects in the enamel structure caused by a disturbance in the normal process of enamel matrix production.
Linear enamel hypoplasias are defined as an increased spacing between perikymata.
We can create a timeline of growth disruption during an individuals childhood by following the sequence of these enamel defects across successively forming teeth that overlap in their developmental schedules.
We are using the Alicona 3D InfiniteFocus imaging microscope to
Individual perikyma grooves are identified on a profile from a virtual reconstruction of the enamel surface
Direct distances between successive pairs of perikyma grooves are then calculated from coordinate data.
The chemical composition of subsurface enamel reflects
during the period of enamel formation.
This information can be used to address a range of questions relating to
Analysis of successively forming teeth can be used to
We use laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to undertake in situ analysis of discrete samples of enamel and dentine ablated from dental thin sections.