Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Iceman Had Bad Teeth

timothy posted about a year ago | from the recommend-doctor-brinkley dept.

Earth 130

sciencehabit writes "Europe's best-known mummy wasn't just a medical mess; he also had terrible teeth, according to a new study. Ötzi, a Stone Age man who died atop a glacier about 5300 years ago, suffered from severe gum disease and cavities. When Ötzi was discovered atop a glacier on the Austro-Italian border, his frozen corpse was intensively studied. But no one took a close look at his teeth until now. Using 3D computer tomography (a CAT scan), the hunter's mouth could be examined for clues as to the life he led. A fall or other accident killed one of his front teeth, still discolored millennia later. And he may have had a small stone, gone unnoticed in his whole-grain bread or gruel, to thank for a broken molar. That gruel may be the culprit behind Ötzi's cavities and gum disease, too. The uptick in starches, the researchers suggest, could explain the increasing frequency of cavities in teeth from the time—a problem that's been with us ever since."

cancel ×

130 comments

That's not a very nice thing to say (4, Funny)

ZaMoose (24734) | about a year ago | (#43426003)

I mean, I'm not the biggest Val Kilmer fan around, but c'mon, that's just downright insulting!

Re:That's not a very nice thing to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426029)

ONE comment, and you've already beaten me to the Val Kilmer joke...

Re:That's not a very nice thing to say (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#43426147)

ONE comment, and you've already beaten me to the Val Kilmer joke...

So it was the first Val Kilmer post.

Re:That's not a very nice thing to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426181)

He whacked between 100 and 250 - lost count after a while. Pretty impressive.

Oh, and - Peeeeetahhhhhh!

Top GNU (4, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#43426853)

ONE comment, and you've already beaten me to the Val Kilmer joke...

Considering this is Slashdot, I'd have expected the obligatory joke "Iceman" reference to have been Spiderman and his Amazing Friends [youtube.com] , not bloody Top Gun. I can't believe that I'm the first. Hand in your geek cards at once... >:-(

Anyway.... "Iceman had bad teeth? That's nothing, Firestar had BO and the other guy, er... could do what a spider can. Hang on, that last one's quite cool."

*ahem*

Re:That's not a very nice thing to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427043)

And not even accurate. Look at him showing off those pearlies!
http://dvdmedia.ign.com/dvd/image/TOP_GUN_DISC1-21_1103157043.jpg

Re:That's not a very nice thing to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43428149)

Ice, man, you are no longer dangerous....

Iceman Had Bad Teeth (2)

errxn (108621) | about a year ago | (#43426031)

From the No-Shit-Sherlock dept.

Or we're the cavities formed posthumously? (1)

popo (107611) | about a year ago | (#43426333)

I'm no forensic expert, but wouldn't tooth decay continue after death? How are posthumous cavities differentiated from cavities formed during life?

Re:Or we're the cavities formed posthumously? (1)

nametaken (610866) | about a year ago | (#43426815)

Hm. I'd imagine the conditions for culturing the related bacteria are pretty specific to a living host. The chemistry of the mouth, eating food, temperature, enclosed cavity (flesh of your face), etc.

Re:Or we're the cavities formed posthumously? (3, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#43426897)

Dying in the snow and being frozen for the next 5300 years definitely helps here.

Re:Or we're the cavities formed posthumously? (1)

dissy (172727) | about a year ago | (#43427409)

Charlie Wilcox said it best [youtube.com]

Maybe he was British (4, Funny)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#43426051)

An American Ice Man would have had braces as a cave child.

Re:Maybe he was British (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#43426163)

An American Ice Man would have had braces as a cave child.

Hence the cavities.

Not to mention his skin was really dehydrated. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426081)

Hah!

What I would like to know (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426121)

How did this guy get all the way from the UK to the Austro-Italian border? And he didn't have to bring his own gruel, when he could,ve had a nice Austro-Italian sausage and maybe some goulash, with some fine wine to wash it down. The Europeans really were a bunch of savages. I mean, look at them, still at war with each other... and the world...

Paleo diet (-1)

rleibman (622895) | about a year ago | (#43426153)

So that's what a Paleo diet gets you... terrible teeth. Seriously, thank science for all we have!

Re:Paleo diet (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426399)

Grain. Hardly paleo.

Re:Paleo diet (3, Informative)

scourfish (573542) | about a year ago | (#43426423)

5,300 years ago would have been the neolithic period, so technically, a neolithic diet gave this guy terrible teeth.

Re:Paleo diet (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#43426515)

Or maybe, just maybe living in a predental hygiene era might have had something to do with it. Maybe. Not like the guy had gallons and gallons of delicious delicious bacon flavored scope on hand to keep his breath nice and truck stop bathroom fresh.

Re:Paleo diet (5, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43427791)

Or maybe, just maybe living in a predental hygiene era might have had something to do with it.

Both. He lived after the invention of flour and before the invention of toothbrush. That was a very unfortunate period for everyone's teeth.

Re:Paleo diet (3, Informative)

t4ng* (1092951) | about a year ago | (#43426475)

The summary contains almost the entire FA. But there is this...

In the late Stone Age, humans were increasingly incorporating coarsely ground grain into their diets. The uptick in starches, the researchers suggest, could explain the increasing frequency of cavities in teeth from the time—a problem that's been with us ever since.

In other words, it was no longer the "Paleo diet" and a shift away from it is what brought about bad oral health.

Re:Paleo diet (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43426623)

How do we even know this "Paleo diet" would cause one to have good oral health?

The whole "Paleo diet" reeks of silly Noble Savage crap to me.

Re:Paleo diet (3, Interesting)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43427377)

Actually it's pretty well established in the archeological record. Prior to wheat and rye agriculture the human diet was pretty similar to that of Homo Habilis, so we had plenty of time to adapt to that. Subsequent to the establishment of agriculture in the Middle East dental disease became a major cause of death, and in Europe in some portions of the Middle Ages it was the single leading cause of death. It seems to be more associated with a wheat and rye diet though, because I don't believe the same thing was seen in the areas where rice or maize were the principle grain crops. (Could be wrong, since I'm just working on memory.) Small stones left in flour seem to have been the primary culprit in many cases, breaking teeth, getting stuck between teeth, and injuring gums.

Re:Paleo diet (3, Informative)

pluther (647209) | about a year ago | (#43427591)

Not entirely correct.

One of the problems with claiming what "the" paleo diet consisted of is that it varied hugely from time to time and place to place.

Unsurprisingly, the world before "the" invention of agriculture was not a giant homogeneous culture with the same diet everywhere.

For the most part, diets in the winter vs summer were remarkably different, even for the same people. There are many exceptions, though, where the diet didn't vary much year round.

Even the diets from places as close together as, say, western Oregon and Utah from 13,000 years ago were hugely different. The Pleistocene Oregon diet consisted of large amounts of seafood, rabbits, tubers, and, yes, lots of wild grains. In Utah there was significantly more larger game, more meat, including more fat, different berries, more grains and less tubers.

And, yes, even without lots of grains, throughout the archaeological record, people frequently had bad teeth. Worn flat by sand and bits of dirt in their food the was rule, not the exception, and cavities and abscesses were more common than not throughout the Americas. I imagine it would be similar to Europe and Africa.

Re:Paleo diet (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43427609)

Subsequent to the establishment of agriculture in the Middle East dental disease became a major cause of death

Ramesses II might have died of dental infection. I don't think he had a single healthy tooth in his mouth. The gritty Egyptian flour with an admixture of sand (which is sort of difficult to avoid in Egypt!) didn't help any.

Of course, the problems with agricultural nutrition were many-fold: pollen analysis of the layers found in Jarmo and other places suggests that the range of plants consumed dropped from about two hundred to mere eight or so, leading to malnutrition, decreased stature, lots of developmental problems - I guess the teeth development suffered as well from the malnutrition alone. The quern work also led to skeletal deformation in women, as they had to work it for extended periods of time.

I'm absolutely not surprised by these findings, indeed, I didn't expect them to find anything else!

Re:Paleo diet (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#43427411)

Consider how many wild animals brush their teeth.

Re:Paleo diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427719)

Does licking their butt count?

Re:Paleo diet (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43427793)

How do we even know this "Paleo diet" would cause one to have good oral health?

It's called paleopathology. That's how we know.

Re:Paleo diet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426511)

So that's what a Paleo diet gets you... terrible teeth. Seriously, thank science for all we have!

Wrong.

his whole-grain bread or gruel, to thank for a broken molar. That gruel may be the culprit behind Ötzi's cavities and gum disease, too. The uptick in starches, the researchers suggest, could explain the increasing frequency of cavities in teeth from the time—a problem that's been with us ever since.

Paleo diets don't have grains in them.

Re:Paleo diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426525)

The iceman was neolithic, not paleolithic. It's grains and added starches that gave this man bad teeth, as the article correctly noted. The Paleo diet removes grains completely and limits starches to people with very active lifestyles. I had transparent teeth before Paleo, no problems ever since.

Re:Paleo diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427229)

And he may have had a small stone, gone unnoticed in his whole-grain bread or gruel, to thank for a broken molar. That gruel may be the culprit behind Ötzi's cavities and gum disease, too. The uptick in starches, the researchers suggest, could explain the increasing frequency of cavities in teeth from the time—a problem that's been with us ever since."

Didn't even have to RTFA especially that second sentence

Re:Paleo diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427369)

Paleolithic is pre-agriculture, which is more like 10K+ years ago. Grains and starches are neolithic concepts.... so this is what a fairly MODERN diet gets you - sugar rotting your teeth out.

Re:Paleo diet (2)

rleibman (622895) | about a year ago | (#43427473)

OK... My bad, you guys are right, this guy was neolithic, not paleolithic, I'm sorry. Yup, you heard it right, someone on the internet admitting they were wrong, and apologizing for it!

Report sponsored by the association of dentists (1, Offtopic)

molesdad (1003858) | about a year ago | (#43426165)

In other news, reports are coming in that CO2 levels around the developed world rose momentarily; as if huge numbers of people exhaled in unision.

That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple life" (2)

rainer_d (115765) | about a year ago | (#43426219)

...back then, you only lived to 30, if you were good.

Dentists? Nope
Doctors? Nope
Nationwide medical coverage? Nope
Anesthetics? Nope
Rather Complicated Operations? Yes, surprisingly - but at full consciousness!

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (1, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#43426315)

Well, things can always be a little too simple, but that doesn't mean we should make them as complicated/not-simple/technological as possible. It's perfectly possible to have good health without being inundated with technology for our entire lives.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426783)

Well, things can always be a little too simple, but that doesn't mean we should make them as complicated/not-simple/technological as possible. It's perfectly possible to have good health without being inundated with technology for our entire lives.

No actually it isn't. You just don't realise that: spoken language, currency, written language, specialized education, calendars, etc. are technology. Not to mention: stethoscopes, toothbrushes, anatomy, cell theory, germ theory, etc.

Good luck having a modern lifespan without a nontrivial subset of technology.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426383)

"Nationwide medical coverage? Nope"

Hold on, it's not a right? Obama said medical care is a right of all men. This is a man. Was the great Obama perhaps lying?

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43426647)

He likely did not have freedom of speech either. Was the great Washington perhaps lying?

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426683)

"Nationwide medical coverage? Nope"

Hold on, it's not a right? Obama said medical care is a right of all men. This is a man. Was the great Obama perhaps lying?

Don't you pick on Obama, you racist homophobe bigot anti-immigrant fox-news-loving neocon redneck gun nut, uh.. umm... Hold on, l've run out of hate slurs already, let me check Comedy Central and MSNBC for more, l'll get right back to you

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (2, Informative)

J'raxis (248192) | about a year ago | (#43426567)

Forget the article, you didn't even read the whole summary, I see. "The uptick in starches, the researchers suggest, could explain the increasing frequency of cavities in teeth from the time---a problem that's been with us ever since." In other words, tooth decay isn't caused by lack of dentists. It's caused by eating food that isn't the natural diet for human beings. Dentistry is only needed to fix a problem we've caused ourselves.

People didn't only live until 30. That statistic is an average: Infant mortality was high, but if people made it through childhood, they died in their 60s-80s just like they do nowadays. Go look up a few random historical figures from ancient times if you don't believe me. Socrates died in his 70s. Plato made it to 80. Aristotle, 62. Roman Emperor Augustus, 76. Tiberius, 78.

But I suppose these are some of the myths you need to believe in, and propagate, to support "national health coverage." So by all means carry on.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about a year ago | (#43426649)

But I suppose these are some of the myths you need to believe in, and propagate, to support "national health coverage." So by all means carry on.

I'm not even from the US.
(But where I live, we have "national health coverage", thank you.)

But it's true - corn-starches aren't very good for the overall health.
Nevertheless, teeth need a lot of attention - and sometimes a dentist.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (-1, Troll)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43427137)

That state-paid "nationwide health coverage" is something that threatens to bring life average back to Stone Age levels. As bad as the US system is, socialized medicine is far, far worse.

The US: doctors will require every possible diagnostic to cover their asses. Socialized medicine: doctors are not allowed to use basic diagnostics unless in quite life threatening situations, they will use the absolute minimum of procedures, and you can expect multi-month delays between every step. Hospitals have limits on treatments, beyond which they don't get paid. Every once in a while, you hear of some local government or some NGO sponsoring an expensive piece of equipment for a hospital, then even with judicious use the hospital runs out of the yearly cap by May, making that equipment gather dust. Doctors are staying idle because the government will not pay for treatments. They are criminally responsible and have to repay the costs if by some reasons you had papers proving you paid the (mandatory) social security tax not in order. Pharmacies are required by law to replace any prescribed drug that's partially refunded with a cheaper substitute, even if the substitute is nowhere close to the original -- but that's mostly moot as the list of refunded drugs has mostly went away.

One thing is common, though: you can be certain the doctor will prescribe you a drug whose name he has on his pen or on a lapel of his coat, even if it's obvious even to an outsider that the drug can't possibly be related to your condition.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427707)

Hmm. What's that ... horse? ... bison? ... no ... bullshit.

US healthcare costs twice as much (per capita) as the UK and the outcome is the same.

I'll leave it up to you to figure out why and who is being fucked over by it.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (5, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | about a year ago | (#43427795)

You have a nice hypothesis. Now go for the hard data: look for countries with better life indexes and higher life expectancy than USA (yes, there's quite a lot of them). Now note down which one of them has NOT socialized medicine.

HINT: no one of them, not a single one.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43427813)

Every once in a while, you hear of some local government or some NGO sponsoring an expensive piece of equipment for a hospital, then even with judicious use the hospital runs out of the yearly cap by May, making that equipment gather dust.

While here in good ol free market USA, virtually all our major equipment in our small rural hospital has been purchased by funds from various NGOs because we don't have the right mix of patients to make money off the bizarre US system. To add insult to injury to 'the best medical system in the world', we have increasing problems with drug unavailability [fda.gov] . Nothing like a lack of sterile saline solution to kick your medicine back a couple hundred years.

The US system is failing on so many levels that it's pretty embarrassing.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43426673)

Instead of listing the richest folks who had access to the best of everything, how about you tell me how long the median farmer lived.

I suppose these are myths you need to support "Fuck you, I got mine." So by all means, carry on.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427123)

Even in modern society, the rich don't live that much longer then the poor. And for the vast majority of history, everyone had access to the same level of health care: Folk remedies, leeches, hopes and dreams.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43427151)

The rich had access to food that was not rotting, did not starve, and water that was clean. For the vast majority of human history the amount and quality of food available varied greatly based on income and social standing.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43427525)

Farming is actually a pretty healthy lifestyle. Lots of outdoor physical work, not cramped in with thousands of other people in cities, good rest periods after the harvest, plenty of food unless the crops fail, oh yes you could do worse than being a farmer.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43428255)

Yeah, like having the crap beaten out of you and everything stolen when you farmed better that the people in the next valley (they actually still do this in Papua New Guinea). No use calling the cops in those days - sort of like now really.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year ago | (#43428113)

He is correct: when you remove infant mortality from the numbers the average age at death jumps dramatically. Those "the average roman only lived to 19" stats are total crap. If you think about it, we would have died out in a few generations if that were true, since parents would have died while most children were still too young to care for themselves. As for the median farmer, unless they worked themselves to death or had zero sense of hygiene, they may not have fared much worse, on average. They probably had a better diet, lacking the "rich" foods the richest folks would have had access to, and let's face it: medicine back then was hit or miss if it helped or killed you faster.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427723)

You should not compare cave men to Romans. Romans were technologically over a thousand years ahead of their time. They had water supply and sanitation, good roads, market system and everything quite advanced. The Greeks were significantly closer to the Romans than cave men.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426911)

...back then, you only lived to 30, if you were good.

Ugh. Why do people keep saying stuff like this?

If child A dies at 2 years old. And child B dies at 58. The average life expectancy is 30. Back then it was either death before six or after sixty. If you made it past six, you were officially a tough motherfucker and would probably live at least into your sixties.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427239)

If child A dies at 2 years old. And child B dies at 58.

That is a very old child.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427089)

...back then, you only lived to 30, if you were good.

Getting to 30 was a struggle, yes. You had to survive birth, getting raised to the age of being a productive member of society, getting past the childbearing years (women) or the primary hunter/war party years (men). If you made it to 30, you actually had a good chance of living to 60, before you would succumb to disease.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427681)

Nothing's hanged it's just like present day America
Healthcare nope
Heart desease yes
Diabetes yes
Lunch break no
40 hour week no
Slave wages yes

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427701)

Nationwide medical coverage? Nope

You are not in the US, right? Kidding!!

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43427903)

Actually IIRC, and its been years since I read this, but opium poppies were used for pain killers for ages before they were refined into what we know as morphine, kinda like how the Romans would proscribe a trip to the spa for those having mental problems and it turns out later that the baths were loaded with lithium.

Re:That's the inconvenient truth of "the simple li (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about a year ago | (#43428027)

Granted, because there was much less "dope" around, people reacted better to less potent anesthetics - but I don't think you can compare it to what you get today in a hospital or with OTC paracetamol-derivates...

What to eat, then? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43426251)

Any comments regarding what you should eat to avoid or even remineralize cavities? Just today I was researching this subject, found even a dedicated book [curetoothdecay.com] related to the subject, which might be garbage or not. But anyway.

Re:What to eat, then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426469)

Brush your teeth. Use a flouride toothpaste (heavy in flourides if you are an adult prone to cavities). Learn to brush your teeth in a proper way, twice daily. Problem solved.

Thanks
Every Dentist

Re:What to eat, then? (1)

dehole (1577363) | about a year ago | (#43426701)

To avoid cavities, eat a meat diet. Eskimo's had 0 cavities on a pure meat diet, without brushing their teeth (no scurvy either).

Re:What to eat, then? (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43427439)

But don't eat polar bears. They can have trichina.

Re:What to eat, then? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43427551)

That's because they ate the fat and the whole animal, often in a poorly cooked fashion, not just the raw muscle. A diet of butter fried steak isn't going to save you from scurvy.

Re:What to eat, then? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43427829)

But eating a liver will. Polar bear and seal liver is high in Vitamins C, D and A.

yummm. Liver.

Re:What to eat, then? (2)

dehole (1577363) | about a year ago | (#43428179)

Bear liver can be poisonous, just because it has too high of a concentration of vitamins.

Re:What to eat, then? (1)

dehole (1577363) | about a year ago | (#43428173)

Yes you are right, Eskimo's really enjoyed the fat of the animal, in combination with the muscle. You would die if you tried to just live off of the muscle. Fully cooking meat destroys some of the vitamins in it, so its better to eat it not fully cooked (pink on the inside). Eskimo's ate what we would call a high fat diet, consisting of about 70-80% fat.

A diet of seal fat and slightly boiled seal muscle will save you from scurvy :)

Re:What to eat, then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426971)

My dentist says the most important thing you can do is brush and floss your teeth before you go to sleep and have your teeth cleaned regularly. Light decay will mineralize, if the tooth surface is clean, and the saliva isn't acidic But once you have a cavity, then it's game over you need a filling.

Re:What to eat, then? (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year ago | (#43428031)

Brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least once a day.

Then brush 1 or 2 additional times with a toothpaste containing Novamin. It is a remineralizing agent (your teeth will feel very smooth). I use Restore toothpaste, it's available on Amazon. There is a fluoride toothpaste that has Novamin, but I can't recall what it is.

Then floss a couple of times a day.

Keep some kit at work, be that strange person who brushes in the bathroom after lunch (the usual response is, "I should do that", but they never do)... I only floss at work, at my desk.

It won't fix cavities (doing that takes a dental drill and a filling), but it will prevent them.

Your teeth will be whiter and smoother, and your gums will be healthier.

At least mine are.

This Proves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426265)

This proves that he was Anglo-Saxon in origin. We'll have to rewrite history.

Ate gruel and bread (1)

losfromla (1294594) | about a year ago | (#43426355)

TFA mentions that he ate gruel and grains and that was probably to blame for his poor dental health. They're also blaming mechanical damage from tool holding and chewing sand with his gruel. I find it pretty unlikely that he would eat sandy gruel, they were prehistoric, not stupid. If they were stupid, we wouldn't have gotten the chance to be as stupid as we are as a race.

Re:Ate gruel and bread (3, Funny)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43426499)

TFA mentions that he ate gruel and grains and that was probably to blame for his poor dental health. They're also blaming mechanical damage from tool holding and chewing sand with his gruel. I find it pretty unlikely that he would eat sandy gruel, they were prehistoric, not stupid. If they were stupid, we wouldn't have gotten the chance to be as stupid as we are as a race.

Sandy gruel just means "stone ground".

Re:Ate gruel and bread (1)

joh (27088) | about a year ago | (#43426705)

TFA mentions that he ate gruel and grains and that was probably to blame for his poor dental health. They're also blaming mechanical damage from tool holding and chewing sand with his gruel. I find it pretty unlikely that he would eat sandy gruel, they were prehistoric, not stupid. If they were stupid, we wouldn't have gotten the chance to be as stupid as we are as a race.

I think if you have nothing but stone to work with getting sand in your gruel is pretty much unavoidable.

You have only yourself to blame, Otzi (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#43426453)

Bet he still regrets missing all those dental appointments.

Re:You have only yourself to blame, Otzi (1)

meglon (1001833) | about a year ago | (#43426575)

I bet he regrets his last trip up to the hunting lodge on that big old block of ice on the mountain more.

Nationality ID'd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426597)

Oh, I didn't realize he was British...

Re:Nationality ID'd (4, Informative)

nametaken (610866) | about a year ago | (#43426927)

Last I read the British have better dental hygiene than us Americans do. They're just not as fixated on the bleaching and such.

And before some horse's ass drags out the new "i'm confused by your 'americans' reference", I meant the US.

Iceman has bad teeth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426619)

Yeah, it's true, but what about Wolverine's B.O.?

Why so slow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426633)

He was found 22 years ago. It took that long to examine his teeth?

Re:Why so slow? (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43427839)

He was found 22 years ago. It took that long to examine his teeth?

He was afraid of dentists. It's quite a primeval phobia, you know.

Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426655)

Why didn't we evolve to have better teeth? Even animals don't need to brush. I'm sure if we just ate unrefined foods we found in nature we'd still have cavities. Wouldn't this have been one of the first things for evolution to solve?

Re:Evolution (2)

dehole (1577363) | about a year ago | (#43426773)

Your assumption about unrefined foods is incorrect, Look up the teeth of the Indians and Eskimo's before they were "civilized". From what I've read, eating a meat diet, or one that included some vegetables, didn't have cavities. Cavities seem to be associated with the consumption of sugar and starches.

Re:Evolution (0)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#43426969)

No. Where is the evolutionary benefit in having good teeth ? Hardly anyone lives short from molar abscesses. Even with bad teeth, you can survive to pass on your DNA. So it is one of those features not "seen" by evolution. Like having freckles or big feet.

Re:Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427109)

"Even with bad teeth, you can survive to pass on your DNA."
Not if all the girls run away from you, Death Breath.

Re:Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427119)

Having bad teeth would lower your chances of survival no question at all. Obviously the increased chance of survival from taking up agriculture more than makes up for it.

Re:Evolution (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43427217)

That isn't necessarily true. Just as a genetic predisposition to eating your young is going to effect you evolutionarily in that even though you have technically already passed on your DNA, it doesn't help keep your DNA in the gene pool if it is destroyed before it can also pass on it's DNA. Extending the parents life beyond childbirth can certainly increase the chances of your DNA propagating through the gene pool.

Re:Evolution (3, Interesting)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43427501)

"Hardly anyone lives short from molar abscesses" any more. It used to be a major cause of death in the Middle Ages in Europe and well into the colonial period in the Americas.

Re:Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43428195)

"Why didn't we evolve to have better teeth?"

Speak for yourself, I have never had a cavity. I have often thought it a genetic trait as my ancestors were Germanic farmers. And you can see how bad british peoples teeth are which must be genetic.

in other news (1)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about a year ago | (#43426715)

Thanks for the lazy news.

It's not even news, really. It's just observation. Like walking outside during a thunderstorm, then printing: "New Discovery: Rain Soaks Your Clothes." Or "Ninjas Love Pork Rinds."

And Cyclops had bad eyes. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43426727)

They blew stuff to smithereens!

Did anyone else wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426765)

why we should care about a mob hit man's dental hygiene?

Ah, these Europeans... (1, Funny)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#43426933)

When I lived in the US, I repeatedly heard the same comment : "You Europeans, you are total perverts and therefore hot - but you all have bad teeth". Didn't know it already started then. Is it a coincidence I live in Austria ?

Austin Powers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43426937)

Wasn't this what the movie Austin Powers was about?

*I'm not a coward, I'm just lazy*

Says a lot about Europe's Healthcare System... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427249)

Under Obama-care we will all have Iceman Teeth!

All these posts and no archeologists yet? (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year ago | (#43427687)

You can date the introduction of agriculture in a population by the age of the skulls with cavities. No agriculture = no cavities. This is not news; fermentable carbohydrates rot your teeth.

Evolving.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43427923)

This is the one area that lags behind all else in humans it seems. Without extreme maintenance teeth are good until about 30 if you are lucky, while everything else seems to hit triple digits(or close) pretty easily by comparison.

Why is this?

I'm a dentist. I don't know about the cause (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year ago | (#43428479)

of the cavities, but having periodontal problems is one of the hallmark signs of scurvy- a vitamin C deficiency. It is plausible that he didn't have a source of vitamin C in his diet.

The iceman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43428605)

Is Richard Kuklinsky

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...