|'ice to meet you. Ötzi the 'Ice Man' currently resides at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Italy|
University of Zurich researchers have looked at high resolution 3-D scans of the 'Ice Man' and the results suggest that problems with his dental health may have added to his already long list of ailments (poor Ötzi had broken ribs, arthritis, parasitic worms, gall bladder stones and had probably died having taken an arrow to the shoulder.)
|CT scan of Otzi. Note how flat the tooth line is - a sure sign of dental wear.|
Photo courtesy of the University of Zurich.
Ötzi was found to have had at least two cavities, one of which was so extensive it had penetrated the nerve containing pulp cavity within the tooth. The team from Zurich also noted a great deal of change and loss to the bone around the tooth sockets, indicating a moderate to severe level of periodontal (gum) disease.
It is not unusual to find these kind of dental conditions in such an individual. Tooth-brushing isn't thought to have been happened much in Europe in the stone age and although Ötzi was found with numerous tools and equipment - a toothbrush was, unsurprisingly, not found amongst his belongings.
* Sorry. I couldn't resist.
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