Human teeth cementum and dentin microstructures analysis

Human teeth cementum and dentin microstructures analysis

Teeth cementum microstructures analysis is often used for an age determination of humans and animals. The cementum grows during the entire life of an individual. The cementum growths are studied on thin sections, which are made in the first third of a tooth root. Roots of canines and first molars are usually used or this kind of analysis. The growth speed is not the same during the year – higher growth speed is during the vegetative season; lower speed is during the vegetation rest in winter. It is similar to tree annual rings. Annual ring consists of a light summer and of a dark winter growth.

Based on the cementum microstructures analysis it is possible:

  • to determine a season of death and the exact age of the analysed individual
  • it can be used as an indicator of climatic changes
  • annual rings can be used for a determination of changes in a growth during a life of an individual and for a determination of a condition and of a nutrition quality of an analysed individual
  • inconsistences or abnormalities of the annual rings can point to pathological problems of an individual (diseases, famine, environmental stress etc.)

This method is not new, however in Central Europe it has been used just rarely. In the Czech Republic it was used by Ábelová (2005) for a determination of a season of death of a cave bear from Javořické Caves in Moravia. In the archaeological context, it was used for the seasonality studies at the Gravettian site I Moravia, Bohemia, Slovakia and Poland (Nývltová Fišáková, 2007). This method was applied also on human teeth in the case of the Medieval site Hrádek nad Nisou site (so called Tobias, the vampire).

In the ERCA Centre the teeth microstructures analyses are guaranteed by RNDr. Miriam Nývltová Fišáková, PhD.



Ábelová, M. (2005): Analýza mikroštruktúr zubného cementu medveďov (Ursidae) z lokality jeskyně Za Hájovnou. Geologické výzkumy na Moravě a ve Slezsku v roce 2004, 2–4, Brno

Nývltová Fišáková, M. (2007):  Sezonalita gravettských lokalit na základě studia mikrostruktur zubního cementu savců. Přehledy výzkumů 48, 13- 23, Brno