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Scientists Find Dentistry Goes Back 14,000 Years, Ouch

Stashed in: Anthropology, Anthropology!, Science History

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Benazzi and colleagues analysed the lower right third molar of the Villabruna specimen. They noticed the tooth retains a large occlusal cavity with four cavities. Using scanning electron microscopy, the researcher’s uncovered peculiar striations in the internal surface of the large cavity, ABC added.

“They were the result of a variety of gestures and movements associated with slicing a microlithic point in different directions,” says Benazzi. Basically, the infected tissue was picked away from inside the tooth carefully using a small, sharp stone tool.”

“This shows that Late Upper Paleolithic humans were aware about the deleterious effects of caries, and the need to intervene with an invasive treatment to clean a deep dental cavity,” he adds.

Because pain!

Teeth seem so vulnerable to pain. They seem like an evolutionary disadvantage. 

Perhaps dentistry was the start of the Stone Age because we needed tools to deal with teeth?

That's possible.  I suppose LUP humans were able to study and work with animal teeth also so they had some grasp of the composition of teeth.

I shudder to think what early man did when he had an eye problem.  

Fortunately most early humans didn't live long enough to develop the most common eye problems of modern humans such as cataracts and astigmatism. 

They just had sand.

Oof. That hurts just thinking about it. 

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