NoDental Enamel Hypoplasia has long been used as a common nonspecific stress indicator in teeth from archaeological samples. Most researchers report relatively minor linear and pitted hypoplastic defects on tooth crown surfaces. In this work we report a high prevalence and early age of onset of extensive enamel defects in deciduous and permanent molars in the subadults from the post-medieval cemetery of Broadgate, east central London. Analysis of the dentition of all 45 subadults from the cemetery, using both macroscopic and microscopic methods, reveals disturbed cusp patterns and pitted, abnormal and arrested enamel formation. Forty-one individuals from this group (93.2%) showed some evidence of enamel hypoplasia, 28 of them showing moderate or extensive lesions of molars, deciduous or permanent (63.6% of the sample). Scanning Electron Microscope images reveal many molars with grossly deformed cuspal architecture, multiple extra cusps and large areas of exposed Tomes' process pits, where the ameloblasts have abruptly ceased matrix production, well before normal completion. This indented, rough and poorly mineralized surface facilitates both bacterial adhesion and tooth wear, and when such teeth erupt fully into the mouth they are likely to wear and decay rapidly. We suggest that this complex combination of pitted and plane-form lesions, combined with disruption of cusp pattern and the formation of multiple small cusps, should henceforth be identified as Cuspal Enamel Hypoplasia
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.