martes, 1 de marzo de 2016

How our ancestors drilled rotten teeth

Early dentistry with these tools would have been painful (Credit: M Romandini).

Long before humans invented writing, the wheel and civilisation, they learned how to drill rotten teeth to relieve the pain of tooth decay

By Colin Barras. Imagine a world without toothbrushes, mouthwash and dental floss. That’s an easy one, right? There would be rotten teeth in every mouth, and rich dentists in every town.

The earliest prehistoric human ever found in Africa seemed to confirm as much. In 1921, miners working at Kabwe, or Broken Hill, in what is now Zambia, came across a primitive looking skull

It had a sloping forehead, giant brow ridges and cavities in 10 of its teeth. The Broken Hill skull’s original owner, an adult male who belonged to our ancestor species Homo heidelbergensis, may even have died as a consequence of his poor oral health.

But here’s the surprise: the Broken Hill skull is a strange (and still largely unexplained) anomaly. Look into the mouths of most other early human fossils and you’ll rarely find a dental cavity. Strangely, for millions of years of human prehistory our ancestors were blessed with generally good oral health - even though their dental healthcare consisted of little more than the use of simple toothpicks.. [...] BBC

Link 2: Así eran los dentistas de hace 14.000 años
Hace milenios ya existían los dentistas prehistóricos, tal y como muestran los últimos restos encontrados: herramientas de piedra de todo tipo y mandíbulas taladradas, operadas y, sí, arregladas...