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Dentistry in the past

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Mon August 23rd, 2010, 4:39 pm

"Anna Elliott" wrote:That is true about the lack of sugar, but in ancient Egypt, for example, the sand and the grit from the grindstones used to grind wheat would be incorporated into the bread and cause extreme wear on the teeth. Studies of mummies have shown that they suffered from what must have been hugely painful tooth problems--abscesses, etc.



I think some of the autopsies performed on Egyptian Pharaohs have shown cause of death related to periodontal disease.

I would imagine a lot of ancient societies using some kind of herbal remedy for tooth care and bad breath -- mint, for example.

There's also a field of study called Dental Anthropology. It's amazing how much teeth can tell you about a population ... kind of like tree rings for trees.

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Kveto from Prague
Compulsive Reader
Location: Prague, Bohemia

Postby Kveto from Prague » Mon August 23rd, 2010, 5:25 pm

"Ludmilla" wrote:I think some of the autopsies performed on Egyptian Pharaohs have shown cause of death related to periodontal disease.

There's also a field of study called Dental Anthropology. It's amazing how much teeth can tell you about a population ... kind of like tree rings for trees.


that makes a lot of sense actually. teeth probably last as long as bone an a tooth might give you a better picture of someones day to day life than say a femur.

i always remember these choppers from the corpses of pompeii. ive got this same photo angle in my personal album
http://rolfgross.dreamhosters.com/2003Sicily/PompeiRecastCorpse.jpg

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LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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Postby LoveHistory » Mon August 23rd, 2010, 7:39 pm

Ah, thanks Keny. I just finished reading a book about Elizabeth last week and while tooth issues were mentioned, black teeth were not. Fun quiz.

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Kveto from Prague
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Location: Prague, Bohemia

Postby Kveto from Prague » Mon August 23rd, 2010, 8:08 pm

"LoveHistory" wrote:Ah, thanks Keny. I just finished reading a book about Elizabeth last week and while tooth issues were mentioned, black teeth were not. Fun quiz.


i did find a funny thing in that quiz. it says that elizibeth had a lover. but since she had no children she was "truly a virgin queen"

Wait, what?

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LoveHistory
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
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Postby LoveHistory » Mon August 23rd, 2010, 10:05 pm

The term "lover" in the Elizabethan period, and much later as well, referred to someone who loved someone else. It wasn't a physical thing. The idea of the term meaning a sexual partner is a modern one.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Tue August 24th, 2010, 2:46 am

I remember being intrigued when I read Bernard Knight's 12th century historical mystery Crowner John series, about the main character mentioning that his Welsh mistress has much better teeth than the average resident of Devon because the Welsh regularly cleaned their teeth with frayed twigs. I followed this up and found the source in the writings of chronicler Gerald of Wales on the subject of the Welsh people:

"The women as well as the men cut their hair in a circle round their ears and their eyes. The women wear head-dresses of white cloth which has been placed in coils like a turban of the Persians. Everyone takes great care of their teeth by rubbing them regularly with hazel green and wiping them with a piece of woolen cloth until they become as white as ivory. In their care for their teeth, they refrain from eating hot meals. The men shave their beards excepting only the mustache."
Last edited by annis on Tue August 24th, 2010, 5:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Tue August 24th, 2010, 3:10 am

Interesting. I guess hot food was thought to be bad for the teeth? I vaguely recall reading once -- it's been a very long time ago -- that supposedly the American Indians also cleaned their teeth using some sort of twig or tree bark. Don't know if it's true or not.......

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Margaret
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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby Margaret » Tue August 24th, 2010, 5:02 am

Fascinating. I think Africans, also, had some type of twig they chewed so they could clean their teeth with the frayed ends. Funny the useful bits of knowledge and technology that civilizations lose and gain over time.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Kveto from Prague
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Location: Prague, Bohemia

Postby Kveto from Prague » Tue August 24th, 2010, 2:58 pm

"LoveHistory" wrote:The term "lover" in the Elizabethan period, and much later as well, referred to someone who loved someone else. It wasn't a physical thing. The idea of the term meaning a sexual partner is a modern one.


Yeah, i know :-) Im having more fun over her statement that the fact that Elizabeth didnt have any children means she was a "virgin queen". I think thats a rather revolutionary definition of the term "virgin", not having any kids.

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Kveto from Prague
Compulsive Reader
Location: Prague, Bohemia

Postby Kveto from Prague » Tue August 24th, 2010, 3:01 pm

"annis" wrote:I remember being intrigued when I read Bernard Knight's 12th century historical mystery Crowner John series, about the main character mentioning that his Welsh mistress has much better teeth than the average resident of Devon because the Welsh regularly cleaned their teeth with frayed twigs. I followed this up and found the source in the writings of chronicler Gerald of Wales on the subject of the Welsh people:

"The women as well as the men cut their hair in a circle round their ears and their eyes. The women wear head-dresses of white cloth which has been placed in coils like a turban of the Persians. Everyone takes great care of their teeth by rubbing them regularly with hazel green and wiping them with a piece of woolen cloth until they become as white as ivory. In their care for their teeth, they refrain from eating hot meals. The men shave their beards excepting only the mustache."


thats a really interesting bit, Annis. nice to see the writer using that info properly.


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