The Iceman had a Mouthful of Dental Problems: Zurich Research

The Iceman had a Mouthful of Dental Problems: Zurich Research

The University of Zurich's Centre for Evolutionary Medicine, Institute of Anatomy, has revealed that the Neolithic mummy found on the Austrian-Italian border in 1991 had serious dental problems.

The Neolithic mummy is often called as Iceman. The initial reports in 2011 have been confirmed by the new research for the Iceman having very bad teeth.

The man died because of the internal bleeding after he was hit by an arrow. The study helped the scientists figure out about diet, agriculture, health and lifestyle for a time period that is more than 20 years.

Sophisticated tools like computer topography enabled the scientists to find advanced periodontitis and several severe cavities in his teeth.

Dentist Roger Seiler, an expert in dental pathologies of earlier eras, said that periodontium loss is common and also been found in Stone Age and Egyptian mummies. Periodontium are the tissues that surround and support the teeth.

He added, "The fact that the Iceman suffered from tooth decay is attributable to his eating more and more starchy foods such as bread and cereal porridge".

The food was very abrasive because of contaminants and the rub-off from the quern that was consumed because of the rise of agriculture in the Neolithic period.

For the first time, the researchers were able to provide the evidence for tooth decay and accident-related dental damage in the ice mummy.

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