130,000 years ago our Neanderthal cousins used toothpicks to aid in dental pain and discomfort according to research at the University of Kansas. This based on a discovery in Croatia in around 120 years ago.
“As a package, this fits together as a dental problem that the Neanderthal was having and was trying to presumably treat itself, with the toothpick grooves, the breaks and also with the scratches on the premolar,” said David Frayer, professor emeritus of anthropology. “It was an interesting connection or collection of phenomena that fit together in a way that we would expect a modern human to do. Everybody has had dental pain, and they know what it’s like to have a problem with an impacted tooth.”
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