Sucrose Is Not the Whole Story: Risk Factors and Oral Health at the Contact (Yakutia, Siberia-16th/19th)

Biology (Basel). 2021 Sep 27;10(10):974. doi: 10.3390/biology10100974.


(1) Background: contact between indigenous and European populations has often resulted in changes in oral health attributed to the introduction of sucrose. Most studies are per tooth over considerable periods and with few ethnological references. (2) Aim: dental epidemiology of 96 autochthonous frozen bodies from Yakutia between the early 17th century and the late 19th century; comparisons with historical texts and ethnographic data. (3) Material and methods: we use descriptive statistics and discriminant factorial analyses to identify dominant variables in the dataset and compare periods and subjects, considering all variables. (4) Results: the peculiarities of the population are the rarity of cavities and the relative frequency of dental pathologies leading to death. Assimilation into the Russian Orthodox culture has led to decreased tooth wear and an increase in tooth loss. Dental health evolves only two centuries after the contact. (5) Conclusions: the confrontation with historical data suggests that changes are not related to the growing importance of sucrose but to a combined action: the substitution of dendrophagy by cereal flour; the decrease in immunity linked to the development of chronic infectious diseases; tobacco addiction and the mandibular torus: a risk factor promoting apical cysts.

Keywords: abscess; cysts; dendrophagia; oral exostoses; para-masticatory activities; tobacco addition; tooth loss; torus mandibularis; torus palatinus; wear.