Cavities refer to damaged areas of tooth enamel, which is the hard, outermost surface of teeth. They cause tooth pain and sensitivity and have been around for millions of years.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the history of cavities.
Fossils Reveal First Cavities
Fossils dating back 4.4 million years revealed some of the earliest cavities. Paleolithic skulls dating back roughly 3.3 million years and Mesolithic skulls from around 8,000 BC also showed signs of cavities.
Introducing the First Cavity Treatments
Simple dental drills were used to treat cavities in Pakistan between 7,000 BC and 5,500 BC. The Sargonid dynasty of Assyria (which lasted from 668 BC to 626 BC) used tooth extraction to treat cavities. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans developed cavity treatments, too.
New Foods Lead to Innovative Cavity Treatments
The consumption of plant-based foods containing carbohydrates, rice cultivation and the first appearance of sugar cane led to an increase in cavities. People cultivated the use of charms, herbal remedies and other innovative cavity treatments.
French Physician Identifies Possible Cause of Cavities
In the late 17th century, French physician Pierre Fauchard cited sugar as a potential cause of cavities. He also introduced dental fillings to treat cavities.
Researchers Develop an Etiology of Cavities
In the 1890s, W.D. Miller, the world’s first oral microbiologist, cited bacteria in the mouth as a primary cause of cavities. He worked alongside researchers G.V. Black and J.L. Williams to study plaque and craft an etiology of cavities.
Bacteria Linked to Cavities
In the 1920s, researchers Fernando E. Rodriguez Vargas and Killian Clark found links between different bacterial strains and cavities. In the 1950s, hamster studies performed by R.J. Fitzgerald and Paul Keyes showed a direct link between bacteria and cavities.
Cavities Today: Here’s What You Need to Know
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, cavities are the most prevalent chronic disease in the United States. They affect men, women and children and often go untreated – even though cavities are preventable.
The Super Dentists can treat your child’s cavities and help prevent them from getting new ones. We have 5 locations in San Diego County. Book an appointment online at TheSuperDentists.com, via text at 1.844.765.1234 or call 1(855) GO SUPER.