ANCIENT DENTISTRY


The ancient Egyptians were pioneers in many things. Architecture, mummification, war and economy. But what about dentistry?

The typical diet of an Egyptian at that time wasn’t very good. They ate very low-quality bread which was full of husks and even sand particles. This, combined with the fact that not enough minerals and vitamins were in their diet meant that their teeth deteriorated rapidly.

Egyptian dentists would do whatever they could to mitigate sore gums and loose teeth. Besides praying to the gods, they would ‘pack’ the teeth with a type of composite of barley, honey and antiseptic.

In more extreme cases, teeth were extracted and treated accordingly. Several ‘bridges’ have also been found. These were essentially primitive braces.

The extreme case shown in the above picture may be post mortem. It’s hard to imagine somebody being able to survive such a painful procedure. The Egyptians liked to equip the dead with everything they needed in the afterlife. And you need your teeth.

Even if they are held together with gold.

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