I have often seen this condition on equid teeth and assumed it was caries (as
Deb Bennett is also suggesting if I understand her well). For some reason, in
equids, caries normally show as a line at the base of the crown. As you say, it
must have something to do with deposition of food remains along the gum line.
As I know well from a recent visit to my dentist it is not an uncommon
condition in humans either. More puzzlingly, we are finding this condition (ie
bands of caries at the base of the crown) in many pig teeth from prehistoric
sites in Britain. The condition almost exlusively affects upper teeth, and
sometimes shows as a series of parallels bands perhaps associated with seasonal
(diet related?) events. I have very rarely seen it in pigs from any other
sites, but if anybody else has I will be interested to know. If anybody is
interested I can post some photos on bonecommons.
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