Toothpicking and periodontal disease in a Neanderthal specimen from Cova Foradà site (Valencia, Spain).

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Lozano, Marina; Subirà, Maria Eulàlia; Aparicio, José; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gómez-Merino, Gala
Year of Publication: 2013
Journal: PLoS One
Volume: 8
Issue: 10
Pagination: e76852
Date Published: 2013
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1932-6203
Keywords: Animals, Fossils, Geography, Humans, Maxilla, Neanderthals, Periodontal Diseases, Spain, Tooth

We present a Neanderthal maxilla (CF-1) from Cova Foradà site (Oliva, Valencia, Spain) with periodontal disease and evidence of attempts to alleviate pain with the use of a toothpick. Two interproximal grooves have been found on the distal surfaces of the upper left Pm(3) and M(1) of CF-1 maxilla. The location, morphology and size of the grooves coincide with other interproximal grooves found on the teeth of other fossil specimens. Heavy dental wear and periodontal disease would have caused the Cova Foradà Neanderthal specimen pain and discomfort, which the individual attempted to mitigate using some kind of dental probe.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076852
Alternate Journal: PLoS ONE