A correlation of tooth wear and age among modern Igloolik Eskimos



The level of molar wear can be estimated reliably by measuring the cusp height. A correlation between age and the level of molar wear, expressed by a normalizing index (TWI) of cusp height, was found to exist in a sample of modern Igloolik Northwest Territories Eskimos. Not only was it possible to derive linear regression models to test the degree of correlation in the sample of 46 female and 39 male maxillary casts of Igloolik Eskimos, but the models were capable of accurately predicting the age of natives of the neighboring Hall Beach community. Sexual dimorphism in molar wear, perhaps attributable to differential bruxism, was demonstrated for the Igloolik sample. Based on the combined estimate of slopes for each maxillary molar pair for females and males, it was discovered that the male maxillary molars are worn approximately 30% more rapidly than female maxillary molars.