Burn­ing agony Study re­veals poor took com­fort But to­bacco only added to their from smok­ing dur­ing hell of famine mis­ery with rot­ting gums and teeth

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS - BY LYNNE KELLEHER

Shared post Tooth de­cay show­ing ev­i­dence of pipe smok­ing around the 1850s cen­tury pop­u­la­tion on the same diet didn’t have the same ev­i­dence of poor oral health. He said: “Our study shows it is not only diet that af­fects your oral health, but many other fac­tors – and we ar­gue smok­ing was a ma­jor con­tribut­ing fac­tor in the Kilkenny pop­u­la­tion sam­ple. “They are also un­likely to have cleaned their teeth ef­fi­ciently – as ev­i­denced by a lot of tar­tar

build-up – so that is ob­vi­ously also an­other con­tribut­ing fac­tor.”

The high fre­quency of clay pipe facets or marks from clench­ing a pipe be­tween the teeth in many of the skele­tons was ev­i­dence of smok­ing.

The study re­veals lit­er­a­ture from the 19th cen­tury re­counted that in Ire­land “all of the boys, and many of the girls, aged around 14 years were pipe smok­ers”.

The clay pipe facets or notches which only show up in long-time, ha­bit­ual Fam­i­lies plead for food sup­plies A boy and girl look­ing for pota­toes smok­ers were present among 61% of adult males and 29% of adult fe­males but this is a min­i­mum es­ti­mate of the smok­ers as the pipe marks wouldn’t be seen in newer smok­ers.

The study just pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Phys­i­cal An­thro­pol­ogy was co-au­thored by Dr Ge­ber and Eileen Mur­phy on work car­ried out in Queen’s Uni­ver­sity Belfast and the Uni­ver­sity of Otago.

The au­thors added: “In the face of poverty and des­ti­tu­tion, the hor­ror of star­va­tion and the mass death that oc­curred dur­ing the Great Famine, we might imag­ine smok­ing would have been one of the com­forts the poor could have en­joyed.”

Dr Ge­ber, lec­turer at the Uni­ver­sity of Otago, hopes their dis­cov­er­ies will give an in­sight into the link be­tween smok­ing and tooth de­cay.

The re­port said: “The study adds to the grow­ing body of ev­i­dence that demon­strates smok­ing is not only bad for your health; it is also bad for your teeth.”

news@irish­mir­ror.ie

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