Human Teeth "Pearls"

by Debra Kerr
(Muscatine, Iowa)

I was going through an old 1936 Muscatine Journal newspaper when I saw this article about human teeth pearls. It fascinated me so much that I did some more searching about it on the internet and have included that information.

The following was in the Muscatine Journal, April 22, 1936, "Pearls are sometimes found in human teeth, growing there, according to dentists, because an enamel cell of the tooth somehow got misplaced and started producing enamel where none was needed. Such pearls ranging in size up to the size of a pinhead are not especially rare, but recently Dr. P. Clarence Tnnis, of Beverly Hills, California, extracted a tooth from a patient's mouth which bore a sizeable pearl."

Department of Anatomy, Dental Faculty, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, "The Prevelance, Location, and Size of Enamel Pearls on Human Molars"; European Journal of Oral Sciences 82 (6), 403-412 by Steinar Risnes (1974): Of 8,854 extracted molars in Norwegian patients, 201 teeth contained a total of 219 macroscopically detectable enamel pearls. The uncertainty in tooth determination had a limited effect upon the prevelance figures. Maxillary molars showed a higher prevalence than mandibular molars. The highest prevalence, 4.6%, was found on maxillary third molars. With a few exceptions, the pearls were located in the bifurcation area of in the furrow between incompletely separated roots. The mean pearl diameter was 0.96 mm, and the mean distance to the cemento-enamel junction 2.8mm. The relationship between enamel pearls and cervical enamel projections is discussed. It is suggested that simple enamel pearls and cervical enamel projections are of a similar nature and origin. The enamel of composite enamel pearls is probably initiated in a different way.

Jordan University of Science and Technology, Radiographic Evidence of Enamel Pearls in Jordanian Dental Patients by Azmi Danwazeh, & Abed Hamasha: An "enamel pearl" is an ectopic globule of enamel that is adherent to the tooth root surface. Information on the prevalence of enamel pearls is sparse, and ethnic variations are thought to occur. Our objective was to assess the prevalence of enamel pearls in a group of Jordanian dental patients. A random sample of 819 dental records were selected, and a total of 1032 periapical radiographs were interpreted for the presence of enamel pearls. Enamel pearls were detected in 4.76% of the subjects and on 1.6% of the molars. Enamel pearls are not uncommon among Jordanian dental patients and their early detection could be important in prevention of periodontal disease.

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Elephant Tusk Pearls

by Asuntha Edirisooriya
(Sri Lanka)

Genuine gajamuthu, or rare pearls found within elephant tusks are among the many treasures at the Hunupitiya Gangarama Temple.

Statues of the Buddha made of precious metals, rare coins, gems, ancient Buddhist texts and various items made of the world's most precious materials are some of the rare and amazing artefacts on display at the Gangaramaya Temple. Among the most precious of the precious treasures are gajamuthu. These are the rare pearls found within elephant tusks.

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