When Baron Georges Cuvier, an eighteenth-century anatomist and zoologist, said ‘show me your teeth and I will tell you who you are’ he had no idea that dentistry would become a world-renowned branch of medicine that would extend to the adjacent and surrounding tissues of the teeth and areas surrounding the oral cavity. Even early dental history indicates that Paul Revere handled the first ever known case of dental forensics when he identified his friend killed in battle by a bridge he constructed himself.
Teeth say so much about us. It tells anyone who practices the field of dentistry, an intricate story that weaves our ethnic background, age, ancestry, our environment and health into a valuable source of information. Evidently, teeth hold the key to understanding ancient communities around the globe. Just like the teeth attached to this fossil found in Northern Spain where researchers have analyzed the calcified plaque to identify how ancient people lived, and what they ate every day, thousands of years ago.
For those interested in the history of teeth, here are some articles by Dr. Sam Muslin: