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Ancient Egyptians tormented by bad teeth

Posted on Sunday, 6 December, 2009 | Comment icon 7 comments

Image credit: Jon Bodsworth
A review of studies performed on Egyptian mummies over the past 30 years has revealed that the ancient Egyptians suffered from a plethora of dental problems as well as several other diseases and disorders.

"Worn teeth, periodontal diseases, abscesses and cavities tormented the ancient Egyptians, according to the first systematic review of all studies performed on Egyptian mummies in the past 30 years."

  View: Full article |  Source: Discovery News

  Discuss: View comments (7)


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Comment icon #1 Posted by cluey on 7 December, 2009, 2:05
that's no big surprise really!!!!!........not like they could book an appointment with their local dentist!!...well they could......but it would have been more....some numbing agent and an abscure form of pliers
Comment icon #2 Posted by ShadowSot on 7 December, 2009, 2:10
I remember there was one mummy, it was a queen, who had apparently die from a infection caused by a bad tooth.
Comment icon #3 Posted by questionmark on 7 December, 2009, 2:16
Bad teeth seems to be a problem for humans since they started to eat mainly grains. There are many finds of sedentary people in the late stone age with awful teeth diseases. But then..sugar or starch + bacteria = acid. Acid dissolves calcium. Teeth are mostly calcium. Elemental my dear Watson.
Comment icon #4 Posted by kurethmu on 8 December, 2009, 15:59
I've always wondered about this. It isn't like there were dentists back then. So what could be done? That would've been a hellacious time to live in for me.
Comment icon #5 Posted by questionmark on 8 December, 2009, 16:56
Well, if you talk Egyptians in times after about 2000 BC there were plenty of specialized doctors, including dentists. (In fact the first female doctor practiced around 2400 BC). Now, the methods used were slightly cruder than the ones used today.
Comment icon #6 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 8 December, 2009, 17:41
Interesting factoids. I get shivers just to think about what those cruder methods were.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Detective W on 10 December, 2009, 13:53
The only bit of ancient dentistry I recall myself was the use of urine to whiten teeth in ancient Rome. (The ammonia in one's urine apparently was quite helpful for that) wonder if the Egyptians did that as well.

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