Gentle Dental of Collingdale
14-20 MacDade Boulevard, Suite A, Collingdale, PA 19023

Did prehistoric humans have better teeth than us?

Did-prehistoric-humans-have-better-teeth-than-us1

Today, humans have access to dental floss, toothpaste and toothbrushes, but back in prehistoric times, men and women had little to rely on when it comes to oral hygiene.

According to a recent study published in Nature Genetics, ancient hunter-gatherer clans had better teeth than we do today.  This finding has been linked to changes in human diets over time.

Prehistoric teeth
“Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth,” says Alan Cooper, Ph.D., director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. “[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up.”

According to Cooper and his team, the gradual shift in human diets from meat, nuts and vegetables to carbohydrates and sugar effectively altered the makeup of bacteria in the mouths of modern men and women, National Public Radio reported.

Researchers examined the teeth found in 34 prehistoric skulls and determined that, specifically as ancient man took to tilling the fields and focusing on agriculture in favor of hunting, particular forms of harmful bacteria began to infiltrate human mouths.

Disease-causing pathogens specializing in devouring carbohydrates helped deteriorate human teeth.  The introduction of pre-processed sugar and flour in the late 19th century during the Industrial Revolution hastened the decline of teeth.

“What you’ve really created is an ecosystem which is very low in diversity and full of opportunistic pathogens that have jumped in to utilize the resources which are now free,” added Cooper.

Techniques from ancient dentistry
While Cooper’s study suggests that prehistoric man enjoyed greater oral health due to diet, another report published in PLoS One has revealed more information about possible early dentistry techniques.

Led by Federico Bernardini and Claudio Tuniz, of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy, researchers in Italy and Australia made remarkable discoveries while examining the remains of a 6,500-year-old human jawbone, Medical News Today reported.

Specifically, a tooth found with the jaw near Trieste in Slovenia hints at possible methods used to fill cavities by dentists during earlier times. The tooth, which is a left canine, was found to have traces of beeswax in the crown.

“This finding is perhaps the most ancient evidence of prehistoric dentistry in Europe and the earliest known direct example of therapeutic-palliative dental filling so far,” said Bernardini.

Bernardini and Tuniz used a variety of tools, including synchrotron radiation computed micro-tomography, accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating, infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy to prod more deeply into the tooth.

Due to the condition of the tooth, researchers believe the person who received the filling may have been near-death or perhaps already dead by the time the procedure was completed.

“If the filling was done when the person was still alive, the intervention was likely aimed to relieve tooth sensitivity derived from either exposed dentine and/or the pain resulting from chewing on a cracked tooth,” wrote the study’s authors.

When it comes to having a set of sparkling chompers, there’s no need to live in the past!  While prehistoric man might have had an advantage due to a diet rich in hearty meats, legumes and nuts, there are plenty of ways that the men and women of today can improve their oral hygiene.

One of the first and most effective ways to counteract a poor diet, along with regular brushing and flossing, is to visit the dentist regularly. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
The people are awesome. The dentist and her assistants are the best anyone could ask for. They are all courteous, friendly, patient, and respectful. […]
Kevin R.
Always great!!!
Anthony E.
Staff is nice, service is prompt
Andrea G.
The staff is super friendly and accommodating. Had teeth extracted with no pain during or after the procedure. I highly recommend them
Corey B.
The services are excellent and friendly.
Bellah J.
very gentle and gave me my smile back
Shakeda F.
All the people are very nice there...They all do a good job
Helen G.
Great Customer Service and Dental work!
David E.
Very friendly, comfortable environment.
Angela O.
i had been up all night with this bad pain so i got up and went down to GentalDental no appt. I walked in explained my problem and was told i could […]
Richard W.
Very good and professional technician had a great demeanor with me
Lance R.
I'm really grateful because I was treated with love and respect.I thank the doctors and nurses and anyone who took care of me one way or another.
Michael C.
My experience at Gentle Dental was very good. The staff is excellent...... They all made me feel like family. I use to hate the dentist but now I'm […]
Keena W.
Everyone at this location are very friendly and professional. I'm so glad I chose this location and will gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a […]
Donna G.
I had a wonderful experience with Gentle Dental. Everyone in the office was so very helpful and very caring. I haven't been to a dentist in a long […]
Wendy H.
Great friendly service. Had large cavity filled, and dentist took time for the first shot of novicane to start, before giving additional doses. Much […]
Christin P.
The staff is very caring and friendly as well as attentive and make you feel like they appreciate your business. I called on an emergency-like basis […]
Ubaid B.
I had a great experience. The DR was so gentle when giving the needle and the woman that cleaned my teeth was also gentle. thank you for taking my […]
Maria R.
The service was great no long waiting period. The work I had done was quick and easy. Overall it was a good experience Thank You
Jacqueline B.
Very nice & great work so far, no pain
Anonymous
The staff were friendly, compassionate, knowlegable, and patient.
Carl S.
The staff was Awesome and the the doctor wa very knowledgeable! #LovedIt!
Quisha R.
The staff at this location are great. They make you feel very comfortable and welcome. I actually do not mind going to the dentist.
Christine K.
Everything was swift and organized. Was in and out and the staff was great.
Michael P.
Good doctor/professional staff
Natalie W.
Very professional great ppl clean&positive environment
Tyron D.
Wonderful staff. They go above and beyond to make your experience the absolute best.
Anonymous
All crew is very helpful and friendly
Petrit D.
Thank you very much, it was a pleasant experience, and see you soon..
Shawn D.
They are wonderful! My children n I r patients for life.
Michelle S.
My son and I have been coming here for many years. I no longer have my dental insurance and was happy that the office was willing to work with me on […]
Cynthia B.
keep up the excellent service.
Rodofis W.
The office staff are very caring and hard-working. The work on my teeth has been excellent so far.
Janice D.
Staff was great. Very friendly and nice. And good atmosphere.
Henry G.
The staff is very friendly and professional. They are compassionate and always put me at ease. Even though being at the dentist is not a pleasant […]
Marla D.
A nice and friendly experience !!
Kareem S.
Prompt, courteous staff; dental procedure explained throughout process.
Kim R.
The dentist was rather considerate to my concerns as I have sensitive teeth and filling procedures are usually painful for me. His assistant was […]
Tynisha D.
it was a great experience with very good service
Donella W.
This is a great place. Love the staff. So friendly and very nice. Always helpful in explaining the procedures that will be done and your billing. […]
Henry G.
I am very leased with the correction of problems that they found with my teeth.,keep up the good work. thank you.
Rodofis W.
Service was excellent. I have already referred friends and family.
Rose B.
My experience with the dental office was amazing..when I first went I was scared because I hate the dentist. They wrote a treatment plan an […]
Tiffany A.
Everyone is so polite and willing to help, They treat with respect, I will always go there
Shawn D.
The staff is wonderful and always make me feel very comfortable and very much at ease.
Marla D.
Staff was friendly and very welcoming! Service was great!
Naja M.
The Dentist seem very concern and took care of me accordingly. No issues or problems noted. Did not have to wait long for scheduled appointment.
Constance W.
I love everybody at the Collingdale Gentle Dental office. Every body is so nice and the price is right, too. Great hygienists and Dentists.
Marva H.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
  • Monday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (484) 427-4663
Our Location