Tooth morphology and other aspects of the Teso dentition



The teeth of over 5,000 Teso schoolchildren members of a Nilo-Hamitic tribe in East Africa, were examined for morphological traits. There was a significant difference between the sexes in the number of cusps on the lower first and second molars, in the prevalence of the cusp of Carabelli, and in variability and agenesis of the upper lateral incisor. The results showed that females consistently favoured tooth reduction. There was also a tendency among those possessing extra cusps on one molar to have extra cusps or other molars. Records kept of the prevalence of the tribal custom of extracting lower central incisors indicated that this practise is rapidly dying out. On another group of teeth which had been extracted from adults common variations of root morphology were noted, together with the fissure pattern of the lower molars. Measurements were made of those teeth which were unworn and were not broken down by dental decay, and the lower third molar was found to be the largest tooth of the series. Observations on the pattern of molar tooth wear showed that the buccal as well as the occlusal surface was strongly affected.