Neanderthals used aspirin
It seems like Neanderthals knew a bit about dentistry, as the latest research shows they used aspirin to get rid of a painful tooth! The team from the University of Adelaide were able to identify the active ingredient on a set of teeth found in a cave in Belgium. This led them to believe that Neanderthals took care of their smile and acted as a dentist.
There are three main points to the research:
- The prehistoric teeth had a thick layer of plaque on, this protected the bacteria and food underneath from rotting.
- Under this plaque they found poplar, which is naturally occurring and contains the same active ingredient as aspirin.
- Similarly, they also found evidence that Neanderthals were eating an antibiotic mold that is similar to what we now call penicillium.
“The plaque showed that he also had an intestinal parasite that causes acute diarrhea, so clearly he was quite sick.”
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Matthew Houlton BDS(Sheffield) MFGDP(UK)
I’m Matthew Houlton, principal dentist and practice owner of Manor House Dental Practice.
Qualified from Sheffield dental hospital in 1993.
Post graduate training with Paul Tipton (Specialist Prosthodontist) from 2005-2007.
Diploma for Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) 2007.
Special interest in Orthodontics.
Yorkshire Deanary Fixed Appliance Training Scheme 2002-2004.
I have worked at York Hospital’s orthodontic department one session a week since 2009.
Member of the British Society of Occlusal Studies (the study of temporomandibular disorder).
I have two children, who keep me busy when I am not at the practice. I take a keen interest in and teach Aikido, a martial art, to keep a healthy mind and body.