Toothpicks Used By Ancient Humans

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013, 11:29 pm

Toothpicks are really old – 1.8 million years ago they were being used!

An international research team studied the mandibles (jaws) of early Pleistocene hominids from an archaeological site in the Republic of Georgia – the one next to Russia. The researchers found evidence that these ancients had caused periodontal disease by using a toothpick. The scientists found that the individuals who used a toothpick had damaged the area between the tooth and the gum. When researchers inserted a toothpick in the area, it went through the space!

This is not the first time that archaeologists had found signs of toothpick use on ancient teeth but this is the first clear evidence for toothpick-induced gum disease.

So is it safe for for you to use toothpicks? There are actually a lot better ways of removing food from between your teeth, like dental floss. There are also small interdental brushes that can remove food from between teeth. Using a toothpick might remove the bits of food but it is also likely to damage your gums.

If food sticking between certain teeth after every meal is a problem then you may have an old dental filling that wasn’t shaped correctly or teeth may have shifted. If food gets jammed in a certain area all of the time it can lead to tooth decay in that area.

Schedule a visit to Wilbanks Smile Center today by contacting us at 706-886-9439. Make sure to let us know about any areas where food collects and we can help solve the problem – no more toothpicks needed!

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Category: cavities, oral health


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