400,000 year old dental tartar found


Interesting dental news has developed this week that brought to light some essential facts about the diet, environment, and pollutants of the people living 400,000 years ago just a little outside of Tel Aviv. The teeth were found in Qesem Cave, and the calculus is the oldest discovered that actually revealed vital information about a culture.

Dental calculus can reveal diet, as well as environmental pollutants. In this case, the calculus showed respiratory irritants such as charcoal, perhaps from cooking fires. The findings also revealed that the cave dwellers had a diet that was not entirely meat based. They did ingest seeds, nuts, and plants as well–and even used fibers from a plant as a toothpick or floss to clean their teeth!

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