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October 11, 1941

Your Teeth: Their Past, Present, and Probable Future

JAMA. 1941;117(15):1303. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820410081039

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Abstract

This book is a scholarly and important contribution to health literature for intelligent lay readers. It is also a valuable and readable review for general practitioners of medicine and for dentists. The bibliographies alone constitute a veritable "Who's Who" in modern dental research. The book is beautifully printed and illustrated with many plates and diagrams. It is well indexed.

The book is a severe indictment of civilization, at least as far as the teeth are concerned. Whatever the specific causative factor may be, civilization is ruinous to the teeth. Primitive man wore his teeth to stumps and suffered from abscesses and pyorrhea but did not know dental caries as we know it. Modern savages appear to suffer caries in direct proportion as they come in contact with civilization. The Eskimo, the Maori, the Bantu, the Zulu, the Bedouin, the Igorot, the Samoan, the Thibetan or the Chinese each has better

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