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The dental industry is booming, with more than 80% of Americans going to the dentist for some oral treatment. But do we need dentists? How did this industry come to be? And what can you do about tooth pain if there are no dentists around? All these questions will be answered below. So, without further ado, let’s find out how the industry came to be and if we actually require dentists in our lives.
A Long and Fruitful History
The earliest known reference to dentistry dates to 5000 BC in Ancient Egypt, where scribes were instructed on how to deal with toothaches. The toothache remedy they used, called dental pulp, was ground up bits of mice and minerals.
In 1211 AD, the first modern dentist can be traced back to a man named Matthias of Pouilly, who was an Italian monk who gave up his religious life and became the personal dentist of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. It marked a massive shift in the dental profession as more people began treating teeth professionally and attempting more complex procedures. It wasn’t long before dental schools were established to teach new dentists further, and the industry flourished. In 1530, it was even declared that teeth were part of a person’s body and should be treated in hospitals.
The Changing Face of Dentistry
In the the17th century, it was common for people to suffer from toothaches and decay due to extensive sugar consumption. Though, sugar was so expensive that only the wealthy could afford it. To treat tooth decay, people strain their teeth and pull them with tweezers. To stop further decay and infection, they would pluck their teeth out with tweezers and put them into hot water. They would then boil the teeth for at least half an hour to remove any remaining bacteria.
In the early 19th century, dentistry evolved. We now knew why and how diseases formed, which allowed new remedies. Dentists were taught that tooth decay occurs from bacteria buildup, with tarter forming on the tooth surface and producing acids. It would lead to inflammation in the gums, and the infection would spread deeper into the tooth until the tooth itself was destroyed.
Nowadays, when you visit a dentist, they have advanced technology to examine your teeth for any current issues as well as potential problems that can develop if you don’t give your mouth the proper care. You might not feel a small cavity in your mouth, but a dentist will be able to see it and plan for it to be treated before it gives you pain and becomes more severe. A dentist will also make you aware of other possible issues, such as tooth overcrowding or the potential for a cavity.
We now know that this is not always the case. Modern treatments such as root canals are highly ineffective at causing tooth decay. But it is still better to have a dentist put you on a course of treatment to remove the infection from your teeth before it gets worse. A dentist will suggest changes to your daily routine, so you can improve your oral health. In any case, try cutting out sugar and avoid chewing on hard foods, incredibly raw food. If you are taking painkillers for an existing oral problem, speak to your doctor about changing to something that won’t cause addiction or dependency. Watersedge Family Dental has a wealth of knowledge about modern dentistry and would love to help you. Make sure to speak to a dental professional if you have any tooth pain.
By Lizzie Weakley
who is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.