Gentle Dental of Thorndale
3307 East Lincoln Highway, Thorndale, PA 19372

Did prehistoric humans have better teeth than us?

Did-prehistoric-humans-have-better-teeth-than-us1

Today, humans have access to dental floss, toothpaste and toothbrushes, but back in prehistoric times, men and women had little to rely on when it comes to oral hygiene.

According to a recent study published in Nature Genetics, ancient hunter-gatherer clans had better teeth than we do today.  This finding has been linked to changes in human diets over time.

Prehistoric teeth
“Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth,” says Alan Cooper, Ph.D., director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. “[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up.”

According to Cooper and his team, the gradual shift in human diets from meat, nuts and vegetables to carbohydrates and sugar effectively altered the makeup of bacteria in the mouths of modern men and women, National Public Radio reported.

Researchers examined the teeth found in 34 prehistoric skulls and determined that, specifically as ancient man took to tilling the fields and focusing on agriculture in favor of hunting, particular forms of harmful bacteria began to infiltrate human mouths.

Disease-causing pathogens specializing in devouring carbohydrates helped deteriorate human teeth.  The introduction of pre-processed sugar and flour in the late 19th century during the Industrial Revolution hastened the decline of teeth.

“What you’ve really created is an ecosystem which is very low in diversity and full of opportunistic pathogens that have jumped in to utilize the resources which are now free,” added Cooper.

Techniques from ancient dentistry
While Cooper’s study suggests that prehistoric man enjoyed greater oral health due to diet, another report published in PLoS One has revealed more information about possible early dentistry techniques.

Led by Federico Bernardini and Claudio Tuniz, of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy, researchers in Italy and Australia made remarkable discoveries while examining the remains of a 6,500-year-old human jawbone, Medical News Today reported.

Specifically, a tooth found with the jaw near Trieste in Slovenia hints at possible methods used to fill cavities by dentists during earlier times. The tooth, which is a left canine, was found to have traces of beeswax in the crown.

“This finding is perhaps the most ancient evidence of prehistoric dentistry in Europe and the earliest known direct example of therapeutic-palliative dental filling so far,” said Bernardini.

Bernardini and Tuniz used a variety of tools, including synchrotron radiation computed micro-tomography, accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating, infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy to prod more deeply into the tooth.

Due to the condition of the tooth, researchers believe the person who received the filling may have been near-death or perhaps already dead by the time the procedure was completed.

“If the filling was done when the person was still alive, the intervention was likely aimed to relieve tooth sensitivity derived from either exposed dentine and/or the pain resulting from chewing on a cracked tooth,” wrote the study’s authors.

When it comes to having a set of sparkling chompers, there’s no need to live in the past!  While prehistoric man might have had an advantage due to a diet rich in hearty meats, legumes and nuts, there are plenty of ways that the men and women of today can improve their oral hygiene.

One of the first and most effective ways to counteract a poor diet, along with regular brushing and flossing, is to visit the dentist regularly. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
The service was great as well as the professionalism! In my case i had full dentures made. Unfortunately there is not a lab on site,this made my […]
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Everyone and everything at Gentle Dental Thorndale was great. I am very well pleased with the work that was done.The DOCTOR was excellent. I have a […]
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I have never had a problem, the staff are pleasant, and Dr. Miller is the best
Esther B.
Staff was curtious and helpful. Everything was explained to me and I was told what to expect.
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I think the girls were very friendly and easy to talk to. The dentist was super sweet and gentle. I didnt feel a thing well until the novacaine wore […]
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I am a self confessed scaredy cat when it comes to the dentist. I have a difficult time calling to make an appointment. I have Never felt more […]
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The receptionist, hygienist and doctor were all very pleasant. I had to wait about half an hour, but that was because I was a walk-in. Overall, […]
Anonymous
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So far, it's been really good
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Got in and out right away. Dr. Inn's service is one of excellence. Very trustworthy.
Anonymous
Very good visit with Dr. In. He was right on schedule and had a very pleasant experience.
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Front desk girl always knows my name :-) everyone is so nice and everything is quick and easy!
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dentist handled in prof and compassionate manner
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I really enjoyed the visits I have had already very friendly staff for the most part and my dentist was great I just hated the amount of pain I was […]
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Gentle Dental exceeded my expectations. Everyone--from the receptionists to the dental assistants to the hygenist--was friendly and accomodating, and […]
Anonymous
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Anonymous
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The visit went well
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I am grateful for the Kind & Gentle treatment I have received. Very efficient Dentist & staff.
Diana P.
In fact I really like the way Lori cleaned my teeth. She did a wonderful job. I will definitely recommend gentle dental Thorndale to friends and […]
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I am very pleased with service and treatment I get at Gentle Dental, they are very courteous and don't leave you waiting for your appointment.
Robert E.
I was very pleased with the service. The receptionist was wonderful and really well informed. I literally had no wait time upon arriving about 15 […]
Anonymous
Dr. In was very thorough in explaining procedure. I am very comfortable with his "bedside" manner
Sharon M.
I was very pleased with the work done on my teeth. Thank you good job!
Brenda H.
I was not pleased with the wait. I would rather not be scheduled when it takes so long.
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Thanks for your proffesionalism Dr In and the whole staff.
Robert C.
Staff and Dentist did an excellent job on my first visit!!!!
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I would recommend anyone to your office, from the doctor to the hole staff you guys are great the most important thing to me is everyone is so […]
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The office staff is quick and efficient. I'm always seen in a timely manner and Dr. is always caring and careful to explain everything and answer all […]
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Great experience overall. Staff were very patient with me.
Anonymous
Receptionist needs to be aware of appointment times of the patients and let the staff know when the pt. arrives and not pick and choose who's chart […]
Anonymous
Dr In is very pleasant and all the techs and receptionist are very helpfull.
Elaine M.
Dentist was very professional and painless. I lost a filling in the afternoon and they squeezed me in the next morning.
Frances F.
Great experience. Lori did an excellent jod cleaning my teeth! !
Gladys A.
I found the office staff very nice and the dentist took his time with me and explained everything that I needed done
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Fast painless and very affordable.
Neil C.
Dr In and staff are excellent!
Elizabeth P.
I will be recommending Gentle Dental to everyone I know. All employees are very nice and professional. There was very little wait time and the […]
Anonymous
Everyone at Gentle Dental are great people, very helpful and understanding, and I thank them for everything.
David H.
dental hygienist was great. i believe name is erin. put me at ease enough to get the job done..and that is not an easy thing to do...
Barbara P.
T Thank you my daughter had to have two teeth filled For the first time! Great experiance Thank you Joanne
Jessica F.
Two root canals went very smooth and ensured that I felt no pain during the procedure.
Tony E.
I like this practice and they are very good with chilren. I always have a good experience with my daughter.
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Am comfortable and impressed with professional demeanor of the office, particularily the Dentist
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