Prehistory : Neanderthals cared for their cavities

Health 28 June, 2017


Published the 28.06.2017 at 19: 00


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The oldest profession in the world will probably change the name. There are 130 000 years ago, Neanderthals cared for their tooth problems. A dentistry artisan, certainly, nevertheless existing. This is what shows a study from the university of Kansas (Usa), published in the Bulletin of the International Association for Paleodontology.

The teeth, the origin of this discovery have been discovered a century ago on the site of Krapina, Croatia. If the gender of their owner, Neanderthal is not known, its habits, they, are. Because this hominid was suffering from dental problems and decided to care for them.

Surgery basic

Evidence of this attempt of self-medication, traces of which persist on these teeth, after the millennia in the earth. Under the microscope, the researchers observed traces of friction on the dentin, fractures of the enamel which occurred before the death. And even, on some molars, marks the use of a toothpick.

These signs indicate that the Neanderthals were probably tempted to treat their dental problems. “It is perhaps not surprising that he has done this, but for as far as we know, this indicates (…) that he was trying to treat himself with this problem,” says David Spawn.

And it is well of dentistry since the teeth examined were not in their axis of origin. The with or his loved ones have handled the molars and premolars, in order to soothe the pain. An element that is not in doubt, since the damages were on the side of the tongue. Thus, they have not been able to occur after the death of the Neanderthal.

Source : David Spawn, University of Kansas