Sci-Tech

Don't get enough sunshine? Your teeth will tattle on you

Researchers at a Canadian university learn that dead mouths do tell tales in new research that examined teeth from the 1700s and 1800s.

This is an image of dentin in an adult with past vitamin D deficiency. Although it kind of looks like those cool marble countertops that are all the rage.

Journal of Archeological Science, 2016

Stupid teeth. Always letting your dentist know you floss and wear your retainer about as often as you flip your mattress.

Turns out that even after you're dead, your teeth are still snitching on you.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada looked at teeth taken from bodies buried in rural Quebec and France in the 1700s and 1800s, and were able to show anomalies formed in the layers of dentin -- the material below a tooth's enamel -- during years when subjects failed to get enough vitamin D.

Th discovery is significant as it can help researchers learn more about vitamin D deficiency, also known as rickets. While the disease seems like one of those long-vanquished health issues, it still affects 1 billion people worldwide, according to the McMaster team.

The anthropologists published a paper on their findings Monday in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

"They're essentially fossils in your mouth," author Bonnie Kahlon said of your chompers. Scientists have used bones to try and track historical vitamin D deficiency, but bones "remodel" themselves in life and break down in death, while teeth tell their tales.

Your teeth and gums can also reflect your health in other ways, as osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease, among other conditions, may negatively affect your oral health.