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Ötzi the Iceman gets a dental exam


A CT scanner has been employed to analyse the teeth of Ötzi, the Neolithic man found frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991.

They found that the ancient farmer had several cavities, likely caused by his carbohydrate-rich diet.

Ötzi also showed severe wear of his tooth enamel and severe gum disease. Hard minerals in milled grains abraded the surface of his teeth and gums, exposing the bone below and making the roots loose. Similar wear-and-tear is found in the teeth of Egyptian mummies who ate milled grains, Ruhli said.

“This is like a sandpaper acting on your teeth,” Ruhli told LiveScience. “In another five to 10 years, he certainly would have lost some of his teeth.”

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Story: Tia Ghose, LiveScience | Photo: UZH

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