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Reptilian root canal: U of T Mississauga study reveals infection in jaw of ancient fossil
Date:4/18/2011

and global distribution of Labidosauris and its kin suggest that it was an evolutionary success.

However, Reisz and his colleagues suggest that as this reptile lost the ability to replace teeth, the likelihood of infections of the jaw, resulting from damage to the teeth, increased substantially. This is because prolonged exposure of the dental pulp cavity of heavily worn or damaged teeth to oral bacteria was much greater than in other animals that quickly replaced their teeth.

Reisz notes that human susceptibility to oral infection has some parallels to those of ancient reptiles that evolved to eat a diet incorporating plants in addition to meat. "Our findings suggest that our own human system of having just two sets of teeth, baby and permanent, although of obvious advantage because of its ability to chew and process many different types of food, is more susceptible to infection than that of our distant ancestors that had a continuous cycle of tooth replacement."


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Contact: Nicolle Wahl
nicolle.wahl@utoronto.ca
905-569-4656
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert  

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Reptilian root canal: U of T Mississauga study reveals infection in jaw of ancient fossil
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