Fertility and Agriculture Accentuate Sex Differences in Dental Caries Rates

  title={Fertility and Agriculture Accentuate Sex Differences in Dental Caries Rates},
  author={John R. Lukacs},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={901 - 914}
  • J. Lukacs
  • Published 1 October 2008
  • Psychology
  • Current Anthropology
The transition from foraging to farming is associated with a widespread and well‐documented decline in oral health, wherein women experience a more rapid and dramatic decline than men. Historically, anthropologists have attributed this difference to behavioral factors such as sexual division of labor and gender‐based dietary preferences. However, the clinical and epidemiological literature on caries prevalence reveals a ubiquitous pattern of worse oral heath among women than men. Research on… 

Regarding “Fertility and Agriculture Accentuate Sex Differences in Dental Caries Rates”

  • W. Grant
  • Medicine
    Current Anthropology
  • 2009
The recent paper by Lukacs (2008) regarding the roles of fertility and agriculture in sex differences in dental caries rates is important in that it highlights the role of increased demands on

Sex differences in dental caries experience: clinical evidence, complex etiology

  • J. Lukacs
  • Medicine, Biology
    Clinical Oral Investigations
  • 2010
Women's oral health declines more rapidly than men's with the onset of agriculture and the associated rise in fertility, and tooth loss in women is greater than in men and has been linked to caries and parity.

Introduction of agriculture and its effects on women's oral health

In an early farming community, with diets being relatively equal, women were found to experience similar caries expression but greater tooth loss, and this differential pattern of oral pathology provides new evidence in support of the interpretation that women's oral health is impacted by effects relating to reproductive biology.

Original Research Article Introduction of Agriculture and Its Effects on Women's Oral Health

In an early farming community, with diets being relatively equal, women were found to experience similar caries expression but greater tooth loss, which is believed to provide new evidence in support of the interpretation that women's oral health is impacted by effects relating to reproductive biology.

Dental Health and the Transition to Agriculture in Prehistoric Ukraine: A Study of Dental Caries

This study assesses the oral health of individuals of the Tripolye culture buried in Verteba Cave, Ukraine, within the context of the transition to agriculture in Eastern Europe and compares the rates of dental caries betweentripolye farmers with earlier hunter-fisher-gatherers from Ukraine.

Investigation of the Effect of Diet, Sex and Age on Dental Health among Ancient Asian Populations from China and Mongolia

This study addresses the gap in dental health among ancient Asian samples with different modes of subsistence to examine the effect of diet, sex, and age among pastoral and agropastoral populations.

Oral health in transition: The Hadza foragers of Tanzania

Data from the first comprehensive study of oral health among a living population in transition from the bush to village life, the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, support the notions that mechanisms of cariogenesis are multifactorial and that the relationships between oral health and the shift from a predominantly wild-food diet to one dominated by cultigens are nuanced.

From the mouths of babes: dental caries in infants and children and the intensification of agriculture in mainland Southeast Asia.

The absence of a temporal decline in dental health of infants and children strengthens the argument that the relationship between caries and agricultural intensification in Southeast Asia was more complex than the general model suggests.

Dental markers of poverty: Biocultural deliberations on oral health of the poor in mid‐nineteenth‐century Ireland

Abstract Objectives Despite subsisting on a low‐cariogenic diet comprising virtually nothing more than potatoes and dairy products, poor oral health affected the quality of life for the poor of

Explaining Gender Differences in Caries: A Multifactorial Approach to a Multifactorial Disease

This review attempts to provide an explanation for this trend by examining each factor which contributes to caries and how the factor differs in men and women.



Dental caries and antemortem tooth loss in the Northern Peten area, Mexico: a biocultural perspective on social status differences among the Classic Maya.

The overall evidence from oral pathologies is interpreted to be the result of deficient oral hygiene coupled with a softer and more refined diet in the high-status population, particularly males.

Agriculture and dental caries? The case of rice in prehistoric Southeast Asia

Although the evidence for a universal positive correlation between the adoption of agriculture based on a carbohydrate staple crop and dental caries prevalence is mainly based on evidence from America, this correlation does not appear to apply in areas of the world where the staple crop is rice.

Dental Health Diet and Social Status among Central African Foragers and Farmers

Investigating the sociocultural variables that influence the dental health of ethnographically well-documented groups of hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists hoped to strengthen the empirical basis for interpreting variation in the dentist health of prehistoric populations.


Findings indicate that the shift from food collection to agriculture involved an overall decline in oral and general health, and changes in food composition and preparation technology contributed to craniofacial and dental alterations.

Dental caries prevalence as evidence for agriculture and subsistence variation during the Yayoi period in prehistoric Japan: biocultural interpretations of an economy in transition.

Dental caries prevalence is used to interpret the biocultural implications of agriculture among the Yayoi period people to suggest greater reliance on cariogenic plants among farmers from Southern Honshu and are consistent with an agricultural economy.

Health and differential survival in prehistoric populations: prenatal dental defects.

Relationships suggest that at least moderate levels of malnutrition existed in Illinois Woodland populations, with a significant association between prenatal dental defects and bony evidence for anemia and infectious disease.

Tooth wear and dental pathology at the advent of agriculture: new evidence from the Levant.

The transition from hunting and gathering to a food-producing economy in the Levant did not promote changes in dental health, as previously believed, and indicates that the Natufians and Neolithic people of the Levant may have differed in their ecosystem management, but not in the type of food consumed.

Assessing dental caries prevalence in African-American youth and adults.

Dental caries prevalence was higher in female and male youth, but dental caries increased more rapidly in females as they reached adulthood, according to the DMFT Index.