CURTIS, H. F.: Alexandria, Egypt (Jan. 14, 1939).

The ancient Egyptians of early periods were free from caries. In later periods occlusal-surface cavities occurred only rarely ; interproximal-sur face caries was completely absent. In Egypt, since the Greek invasion and the later introduction of sugar cane, caries has increased cumulatively, its in­cidence among present-day Egyptians being about the same as in Europeans. The diets are similar.

In human remains of ancient Egyptians of all periods, caries was a rarity. In one hundred skulls and mandibles belonging to the First Dynasty (3400 B.C.), no caries was found. The teeth of the people of this period were as nearly perfect as human teeth can be—little attrition, a few (5 percent) impacted mandibular third molars, some salivary calculus, complete absence of caries. In skulls of the First Dynasty to the beginning of the Middle Empire (2750 B.C.), no caries was found, but there was attrition of increasing severity. At the end of the Middle Empire Period (1600 B.C.), there was some occlusal caries in isolated molars, or in teeth that had lost function. Among remains of the Ptolomeic Period (300 B.C.-200 A.D.), caries was much more marked than in earlier periods, but was not common, only occlusal surfaces being attacked. No interproximal caries or cervical-margin erosion has ever been noted in teeth of ancient Egyptians from 3400 B.C. to the Coptic era (500 A.D.) ; observed caries occurred only on occlusal surfaces of molars and bicuspids. Since 1000 A.D., caries has steadily increased. The diets of ancient Egyptians of all periods were well balanced, consisting of coarse breads, raw vegetables and some meats. Sugar was first found in Egypt about 700 A.D., and pasty foods came into vogue after the Greek invasion. The only sweetening the ancient Egyptians had was natural honey of the bee, and undoubtedly this was used but little in the every-day diet.

Reference: None submitted.

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