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Study Shows Vikings Were Prone to Oral Disease and Attempted to Alleviate Dental Pain

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A recent study published in PLOS ONE reveals that Vikings in Sweden faced significant dental problems, with more than 60% of adults examined showing signs of dental caries, particularly on the root surface. The study involved the analysis of more than 2,300 teeth from 171 individuals whose remains were unearthed near a Christian church in Varnhem, Sweden, dating back to the 10th to 12th century AD. Notably, while dental caries prevalence decreased with age among adults, nearly a quarter of the individuals’ teeth seemed lost before or after death, potentially skewing the results. The study also identified other dental pathologies, such as tooth infections and intentional modifications, including tooth abrasions, likely aimed at alleviating tooth pain. Tooth picking was evident, suggesting efforts to remove food particles. Click here to read more.

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