According to researchers from the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich, Ötzi the Neolithic mummy shows evidence of many modern oral diseases and dentition issues.
Among those ailments, lead researcher Professor Frank Rühli explains, that Ötzi displays severe dental abrasions, numerous carious lesions and showed evidence of mechanical trauma to a front tooth.
Although Ötzi's body was discovered over 20 years ago, dentist Roger Seiler from the Centre has just recently performed a thorough examination of the teeth that shows that oral diseases were present.
This discovery only adds to the momentum to the suggestion that periodontitis is a dental pathology that has been common for quite some time now. Three-dimensional computer tomography was used to examine the oral activity and display the degree of his periodontal disease. Most of the damage and erosion appeared in the rear molars where most periodontal supporting tissue was thin or non-existent.
Researchers believe that the decay in Ötzi's mouth was caused by the addition of starchy foods, such as porridge and bread, to his diet during the rise of agriculture in the Neolithic Period.