The world’s oldest case of toothache

Palaeontologists from North America discovered the fossilised jaw bone of Labidosaurus hamatus, a one-metre long lipped lizard, which existed nearly 200 million years ago in the Permian period of the Palaeozoic era, and concluded that it is possibly the earliest discovered animal to have suffered from toothache. The research team, led by Robert Reisz (University of Toronto Mississauga) carried out extensive tests using computerised tomography (CT) scanning, which demonstrated that the creature in question had a large abscess on its lower jaw which most probably would have led to extensive tooth loss. Labidosaurus’ ancestors were marsh-dwellers with teeth that would have been loosely attached to the jaw and were replaced continuously. However, when these reptiles started to adapt to living on land, their dentition evolved and became stronger and more attached to the jaws to enable these animals to extract more nutrients from the plants and vegetation.  This evolution of deeply anchored, non-replaceable teeth left these animals more vulnerable to bacterial infections and decay. Unfortunately for poor Labidosaurus, dentists had not evolved by the Palaeozoic era. If you are having issues with toothache, or if your smile needs a make-over, call Higher Lane Dental Practice today on 01925 752209 to arrange a consultation/appointment.  The Practice is located in the picturesque village of Lymm in Cheshire, near to Manchester and Liverpool city centres. 

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