Age- and Sex-related Dental Caries Prevalence in Japanese from the Jomon Period

Hisashi Fujita, Kyoko Asakura, Masayuki Ogura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dental caries studies on ancient skeletal remains and those which focus on sex differences and changes with aging are almost unknown worldwide. This study was aimed to clarify age- and sex-related changes in caries prevalence in Jomon people in Japan and to reveal more information on their livelihood and surrounding environment. The materials were human skeletal remains of a total of 271 individuals from the Jomon period. Determination of sex and age estimation were performed using these materials. They were divided into 4 groups: male and female young/early middle-age groups, and male and female late middle-age/elderly groups. As a result: (1) in males, there was almost no difference in the dental caries rate between the young/early middle-age group and late middle-age/elderly group: (2) in females, the dental caries rate was significantly higher in the late middle-age/elderly group compared to the young/early middle-age group; (3) in both males and females, the dental caries rate significantly increased with aging in the maxillary teeth compared to the mandibular teeth; and (4) overall, females had higher dental caries rates than males in the young/early middle-age group and late middle-age/elderly group. From the aforementioned results, females tended to have higher dental caries rates than males in the Jomon period. A difference in the dietary habits of males and females is thought to be the cause of such a difference. In particular, a substantial increase in the dental caries rate in late middle-aged and elderly females leads one to speculate that females of that time period preferred sweet foods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-204
Number of pages7
Journaljournal of oral biosciences
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Jomon period
  • age change
  • dental caries
  • palaeoepidemiology
  • sex difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Dentistry(all)

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