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Neanderthal Dentistry: A Matter of Research by Paleoanthropologists

Neanderthals made toothpicks out of bones or stems of grass. Professor David Frayer and co – authors from University of Kansas found multiple tooth pick grooves on teeth of a Neanderthal individual. Neanderthals lived 130,000 years ago at a place known as Croatia today.

The left side of the Neanderthal’s mouth was analyzed by Professor Frayer’s team. They researched on four isolated but associated mandibular teeth in the mouth. Krapina Neanderthal site was the centre from where teeth were collected more than a century ago. Light microscope and eyes were used to analyze teeth. They analyzed it to document occlusal wear, toothpick groove formation, ante mortem enamel, dentin scratches and lingual fractures.

Prof. Frayer said that Neanderthal was suffering from some dental problem and was trying to cure itself. The toothpick groove formation breaks and scratches on premolars suggested this. 


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