Encinitas Periodontist Explores Dentistry of the Past

Human interest in teeth date back to antiquity. Remains that date back thousands of years BC include molars with nearly perfect holes carved from their centers. Since the molars are situated in the back of the mouth, experts believe they can rule out the possibility of cosmetics being a motivation for the dental procedures. To celebrate the history of oral health care, your Encinitas periodontist Dr. Ann Kania outlines some of history’s interesting achievements in dentistry.

The Long Journey to Advanced Dental Care

While everyday oral hygiene has taken enormous steps since the chewing sticks of old, the true benefit to today’s advanced dentistry lies in the achievements regarding our understanding of the intricacies of oral health. The following milestones outline the growth of knowledge that has taught us the more complicated aspects of oral health.

  • The first known specific reference to someone as a dentist can be found on the tomb of the ancient Egyptian scribe Hesy-Re. The inscription honors the scholar as “the greatest of those who worked on teeth, and of physicians.” Hesy-Re’s area of specialty was advanced medical pursuits.
  • The earliest evidence of dental surgery was also discovered in Egypt. A mandible, or lower jaw, was found containing two perforations below the root of a molar. The evidence is consistent with the draining of a tooth abscess (a collection of infected pus; usually forms at the tip of an infected tooth’s root).
  • Scientists have uncovered a human jawbone that has been dated to 6,500-years-old with evidence of an odd dental procedure; one tooth shows evidence of a dental filling procedure. The material of choice for the procedure was beeswax. The procedure was most likely performed to relieve pain from a large vertical crack in the tooth’s structure.
  •  The Belgian anatomist, Vesalius, was the first to describe the pulp chambers of the tooth. A tooth’s pulp, which lies at the center of the tooth and contains its blood vessels and nerves, is the tooth’s only living tissue.

Continuing Advancement

Research demonstrates to us the importance of maintaining good oral health. Recent studies pursue the connection between the state of your oral health and your physical wellbeing. However, such hypotheses are ancient and come and go in popularity.  To learn more, and for excellent periodontal treatment, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontal office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.