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Is it true people didn't used to need dentists?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Landon Caeli, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    I read that back in the ancient times, before processed food, people never got cavities their whole life, and that there was never a need for dentistry. I found that very hard to believe, considering a Navajo I worked with told me that their method for curing a tooth infection was to heat a hot piece of metal or stone in a fire and then hold it to the tooth, thus burning the roots... Which sounds totally painful.

    I just wonder sometimes how many people lived their lives with massive toothaches, because I doubt I personally would have ever resorted to frying my roots, regardless of what age I lived in.
     
  2. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    ??????

    ancient times?
     
  3. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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  4. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    You know... Back when people used to eat cat-tails and *****-willows.
     
  5. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    grain eaters lost enamel
    skulls unburied show the wear and tear on the teeth

    tooth aches led to infection
    infection leads to the heart as circulation of blood is almost direct

    it was written......an eye for an eye
    a tooth for a tooth

    SERIOUS LOSS
    followed by serious pain
    and pending death
     
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  6. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    That's what I was thinking... I guess people had to just pull them out, but I cant imagine pulling a tooth out without a mirror or metal tools.

    ...It must have been very hard times for people, if you really think about it.
     
  7. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    Now a days, I can just sit in a chair and have a new cap fashioned almost exactly like the original one, while I have my roots carefully filed out. This is luxury..!

    (I just recently had a root canal and crown)
     
  8. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    It wasn't that they didn't NEED dentists, but that they DIDN'T HAVE dentists. Healers, yes, who did many things, including extracting bad teeth, numbing nerves, etc. But compared to modern dentistry, they had not much of anything...

    But there were many reasons that most prehistoric (and even historically, up to the last 100 years or so) people died before the age of 30, and tooth problems was one of the reasons.
     
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  9. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    It's also important to realize that until the advent of antibiotics, having a tooth infection carried a significant risk of *death*. The infection easily spread to the bone, then to other organs producing sepsis. There are even modern cases of people dying of an untreated tooth infection (do a google search on dying of tooth infection).

    So, the options were to extract the tooth (which could lead to infection also), apply the heat to kill the infection (painful), or risk dying from the infection.

    NB: Death from tooth infection was listed as the 5th or 6th leading cause of death into the 1600's in London.
     
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  10. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I think they did tooth extractions, although I recall reading about what they used for anesthesia back in those days. I found an article with some interesting information about healthcare as it was in the 15th/16th centuries.

    16th Century Medicine

    So, if the anesthesia doesn't kill you, the operation probably will.


    Assorted medical wisdom of the 16th century:

    • God implanted the soul in the embryo forty days after conception. The soul controlled growth and nutrition, sensation and motion, and all rational activity.

    • The liver created blood, which was used by the brain to create invisible nervous spirits which flowed through the nervous system and were vectors of sensation and motion.

    • Women were nothing more than imperfect versions of men.

    • Individuals were either sanguine (hot and moist), choleric (hot and dry), phlegmatic (cold and moist) or melancholic (cold and dry) according to their predominant temperaments.

    • Disease struck when one or more parts of the body became disturbed by an external cause. According to Hippocratic tradition, there were six non-naturals, whose good or bad management maintained the body in a state of health or provoked disease. These were air, food, and drink, exercise (including sex) and rest, sleep and wakefulness, bodily evacuations, and the passions of the soul.

    • Gluttony, over-exercise, anger, and sexual athleticism were the sure harbingers of disease. Hunting to excess could raise the body’s temperature, overheat the heart, and launch a fever.

    • Diagnoses could be made from the nature of excrement, and tint of skin. A lemon-yellow color suggested a blockage of the liver; a brown complexion an obstruction of the spleen; a black tongue, an ardent fever; hooked nails, phthisis, red cheeks, peripneumonia.

    The field of medicine has made great advances since those dark days.
     
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  11. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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  12. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud
    It's My Birthday!

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    When Shakespeare was in his late 30s he talked of being an old man.

    Life expectancy in his time was about forty years, and one of the main causes of death was infections in the mouth due to the absence of dentistry.
    Poor dental hygiene is a cause of septicemia and myocardial infarction .
     
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  13. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    I have read accounts of evidence for tooth problems found in ancient human remains. One that sticks in my mind was from the skull of a middle-aged woman that had an abscessed tooth that had existed long enough that it had begun to calcify prior to her death. It was also noted as evidence that humans used to be able to endure much more pain than we are capable of enduring today.
     
  14. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they died from pain, unable to tell

    Now serious. Some people have osteoporosis. Minerals leaving bones. Same can happen with teeth.

    I have kidney deficiency. Big impact on my teeth. Very restricted diet (less than 40gr protein and no salt etc.) is my teeth saver.

    Infection in Ayurveda is Pitta (heat) related. Aggrevated Pitta causes infections. Emotions can aggrevate Pitta, thus causing infections. Infections will show up generally where the body is weakest (least power to fight infection of).

    So tooth trouble is not only food related, but proper diet can be of great help to avoid most of the tooth trouble.
     
  15. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    The need for dentists is related to sugars, in ancient times. Communities who did/could not have sugars generally had better teeth.

    Ancient Rome used honey to sweeten foods and wine (i occasionally have a hot wine and honey if i have a cold). Because of their sweet tooth most Romans had very poor teeth
     
  16. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Coincidentia oppositorum

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    They didn't have any teeth... so no need for dentists. :)
     
  17. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    This thread reminds me of the minor character in 'The Quick and the Dead' who peddles gold teeth, and the scene where a group of men, pliers in hand rush to the mouth of the victim of the gunfight.
     
  18. Rival

    Rival Noachide
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  19. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    Which seems strange to me, because I was under the impression that primates evolved out of the tropics, eating things probably similar to bananas, mangoes and tree fruits, which are very sugary.

    You'd think we would be better adapted to a sugary diet by now.
     
  20. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Coincidentia oppositorum

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    True. And nuts and roots too.

    We might have been actually.

    There was an experiment years ago where they used selective breeding and controlled diet of rats to produce a breed that would have teeth with less problems, if I remember it right. And they succeeded, but I think by doing this, other problems started to show up. Can't find the article right now. Might be interesting addition to the debate though, because we might have had genes for stronger and better teeth in the past, which we since lost.

    Put it this way, animals don't have as much of an issue as we do, because the diet, but also different genes (metabolism, pH levels, etc).
     
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