The next time you’re thinking about skipping flossing maybe you should remind yourself that even cavemen were able to manage to maintain an oral hygiene routine. New research shows that nearly 2 million years ago toothpicks were used in the genus Homo, both as a way of relieving the pain of gum disease and as a way of maintaining oral hygiene.

ResearchDentist Austin - Ancient Toothpick Used To Fight Gum Disease

The research studied fossilized teeth under a microscope. Scientists are able to see clear toothpick marks on the teeth of those suffering from periodontal disease (something they were able to tell by identifying the bone loss it caused in the fossils). This evidence makes this the oldest case of toothpick use as a dental tool. Scientists said that it was evident that these ancient individuals had attempted to use the toothpicks to relieve them of the pain that comes with periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease

Even with all the tools and available treatments we have today, periodontal disease is still a very common and painful condition. Some of the symptoms of periodontal disease are:

  • Painful, tender, bleeding or swollen gums.

  • Gum recession.

  • Gum inflammation.

  • Loose teeth.

Periodontal disease is a result of gingivitis left untreated. Gingivitis is a result of a buildup of bacteria, plaque and tartar and can be avoided by brushing, flossing and regularly seeing a dentist.

Put that toothpick down and call Dr. Arzegar of the Lifetime Smiles today and schedule an appointment if you believe yourself to be suffering from either gingivitis or periodontal disease!