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Study: Neanderthals Practiced Primitive Dentistry To Treat Toothaches

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posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 10:18 AM
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Neanderthals picked at their teeth, and there are some really old teeth that the U of Kansas think prove this. Can you imagine a group of these guys sitting around a fire picking their teeth with a small bone right before bedding down?


Even cave men and women cared about oral hygiene. Well, sort of. A new study of teeth from Neanderthals shows that our earliest ancestors practiced a primitive form of dentistry, using a toothpick-like tool to help alleviate a toothache.

Researchers at the University of Kansas analyzed four teeth from a Neanderthal that lived 130,000 years ago. The teeth and other fossils were discovered in Croatia sometime between 1899 and 1905.
www.studyfinds.org...



Self treating sore teeth is what the Neanderthals were doing according to some 130,000 year old teeth that have grooves in them. The idea is that the neanderthals were using bone or even a blade of grass (i don's see how grass would work) to pick at their teeth to relieve pain.
edit on 1-7-2017 by seasonal because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 10:24 AM
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I can easily see how attempts at basic dentistry would have arisen in very primitive societies, if not before.

We all know the horrible sensation of getting food stuck between your teeth (especially meat fibres), and any animal that had the wit to use basic tools would soon be driven to pick up a stick and try to winkle lodged food out of their teeth.

From there, it's only a hop, skip, and a jump to doing more in-depth fiddling.

In fact, acting on this hunch, I did a little research and found that monkeys have been observed using 'toothpicks' in the wild. And if it's not beyond the wit of a monkey, it certainly wouldn't be beyond the wit of their bigger and smarter tool-using cousins.



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 10:27 AM
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OK... that sent a shiver down my spine. "Neanderthal Dentistry"

Ouch.



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 10:45 AM
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Animals take care of their teeth too. They use, like humans, someone else, but they have them cleaned as much as can be.

And humans are animals too, basically, so, not surprised.


And scientists saying they picked a tooth with a grass blade is similar to propositions that hard stones were shaped in the past with softer stones... Maybe the grass was used more like floss???



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: NowanKenubi

Yes, that makes sense that grass would be used as floss.

I shutter to think about what chipped some of the teeth in the pick. Reminds me of the "dentistry" scene from Castaway.




posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 11:05 AM
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a reply to: seasonal

There's also evidence they used obsidian blades for trepanation on skulls! The patient (perhaps?) also lived after these procedures.

God only knows just how smart and capable earlier hominid species were.


edit on 1-7-2017 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: NarcolepticBuddha

Yes this is a practice that is sort of glossed over by the archeologists. How and why did they know what to do? Just plane odd that this happened, and there is proof of the surgery and it healed.



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: seasonal

Haha. He should have attached his tooth with a rope made of grass linked to a big rock and throw it down a mountain... like in the movies in the old time. I surely would have lost consciousness too, picking a tooth with a skate blade.


But seriously, I'm sure Neanderthals knew of plants mixtures that would have numbed the tooth while working on it, or they were very impervious to pain.



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 12:09 PM
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a reply to: NowanKenubi

More than likely had a good knowledge of herbs, plants and some basic of general biology. Those basics I sure are still abound and are around somewhere in cultures.

E.g., When my wife and I first married, we went to visit my great grandmother (30 years ago) that retired in New Mexico and out in the middle of nowhere. My wife was on antibiotics in preparation for a root canal scheduled the day after our trip, was in no pain and the infection was gone, so she decided to come on the trip...then the next morning after we arrived she woke with a swollen face and throbbing pain (aka miserable).

No dentist available except for a 3 hour drive back to Albuquerque. Great Grandmother stopped me and said get her to the kitchen.

There, she treated my wife with nothing but plants, salt water, herbs and extracts and even packed the original cavity.

It all was good in an hour or so and more importantly no more pain. Life went on and we came back to Texas....and the dentist.

After the scheduled dental exam (he pulled the cavity packing out here) and performed x-rays, when he came out (I was in the room) and stated he could not see the need to proceed with the root-canal, put the x-rays up and explained etc. His bottom line is that the antibiotics did the work and it happens and he preferred just to fill the cavity.

There is a science to herbal medicines. I am sure Neanderthal etal. had a grasp.

The Native Americans do and the uses of the medicines predate European discovery and have not changed.

mg



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 12:38 PM
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originally posted by: NarcolepticBuddha
a reply to: seasonal

There's also evidence they used obsidian blades for trepanation on skulls! The patient (perhaps?) also lived after these procedures.

God only knows just how smart and capable earlier hominid species were.



It's known that you can use the back of a dry cave as a jungle "operating theater". There is no organic material, so no mold, bacteria to get into the wound. If the patient has a head injury with internal bleeding and that blood isn't removed, they will die. So there isn't a choice in terms of treatment.



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 12:58 PM
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a reply to: missed_gear

I am far from knowing old remedies, but whenever I can treat something without going to the hospital, I use what I know that will work to solve the problem.
It's sad that a lot of this knowledge has been "put into hiding" because of big pharma.



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: NowanKenubi

Very true.

She was an interesting woman that did not believe in modern medicine unless it was and accident involving surgery or a must for insurance.

Born in 1892 and passed in 1990 (a few years after the toothache incident). She claimed her father taught all her siblings the 'older' ways to treat everything from kids with worms, snake bites to small pox with using extracts.

My brother has kept all of her information intact. I have read through it it is interesting, from what I see, works.

mg



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 02:01 PM
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a reply to: VegHead

We still have that in the UK



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 04:18 PM
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originally posted by: NarcolepticBuddha
a reply to: seasonal

There's also evidence they used obsidian blades for trepanation on skulls! The patient (perhaps?) also lived after these procedures.

God only knows just how smart and capable earlier hominid species were.




There are multiple examples of Neanderthal practicing medicine, including amputation of limbs. And yes, the patient survived the amputation in the remains I had the opportunity to study personally. The implications of this go beyond just their ability to practice some pretty impress surgical skills in the Paleolithic. It shows that they had a sense of community as well because surviving the amputation was just the first step. The individual could no longer hunt for their own food and would have required a great deal of after care. This means that they group the individual belonged to made sure that their essential needs for food and water were met which takes additional resources from the able bodied members who were also a man down. Who would've thought that Neanderthal would become the poster boys for and original provocateurs of socialized healthcare?



posted on Jul, 1 2017 @ 04:54 PM
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Seems to me that Neanderthals were of higher intelligence than many modern humans.



posted on Jul, 7 2017 @ 05:26 PM
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It makes sense. Neanderthal weren't stupid. I'd imagine that fish bones would make perfect tooth picks, although going from using toothpicks to implied dentistry might be a bit of an exaggeration.



posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 03:11 PM
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well aspirin can be from willow bark and even chewing would work .
Moss and a type of peat moss have anticipate antibacterial .
and both were easy to find and took almost 0 know how .
caffeine works as a pain killer .
setting a bone packing peat moss round the limb and wala .
really wile we have advanced nicly almost every thing we have comes from plants and is just intensive by removing the stuff and adding it together .
willow bark would work for pain get the aspirin and make a pill would be like chewing alot of bark mainly a time saver and who like eating trees lol .
anyway They had needles bone so could sew a cut they had very very sharp cutting tools to do what ever else needed .
heck not much they couldn't do we can the big problem was minimizing blood louse .
But the every day stuff ? giving birth ? treating a broken arm pulling a bad tooth why not ?
Heck they could even make alcohol without to much trouble .
All we have really done is make it all fancy 99% of the time they could save the person just as well as a ER can .
teh other 10% well spit happens



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