Teeth tell archaeologists all about ancient civilizations – from their diet to their way of life, to their cause of death.
But new research suggests that the bones in our mouth could also reveal details about our future.
Scientists have found that teeth could show the risks of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Dr. Erin Dunn, a psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, examined the lost baby teeth in six year olds and found that those whose enamel was thinner were more likely to "burn out." have problems with attention deficit.
This discovery, although perhaps logical for archaeologists, is unprecedented in psychiatry, as it offers a whole new method of screening for more and more frequent disorders.
"It's something we've never seen or thought about before," Dr. Dunn told DailyMail.com.
For the study presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC, Dr. Dunn has partnered with archaeologists, anthropologists, and public health practitioners.
They asked the parents of 37 children aged six and over in California to bite each other when they scrambled.
After analyzing each tooth with high resolution imaging, they compared their analyzes to the children's behavioral assessments.
They found that differences in the size and quality of their teeth were better predictors of mental health than factors that psychiatrists would normally look for, such as the neighborhood in which they live or the makeup of their families.
For Dr. Dunn, the study showed the interest and the need for scientists to work in several areas.
"I think that in general, scientists can be compartmentalized, people tend to work only with people with similar backgrounds, psychiatrists work with psychiatrists, psychologists work with psychologists."
"Even if they have made an effort to move from one discipline to another, few of them do it.
"This [study] is an artefact for the need for more interdisciplinary science and how efforts can provide opportunities to look at completely unexpected things that other areas are doing all the time, "said Dunn.
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