- Ötzi the Iceman had bad teeth, new CT scan analysis shows.
- A grain diet higher in carbohydrates than past Neolithic diets likely played a role in promoting cavities.
- Even though he had dental issues, Ötzi still had all his teeth when he died at around age 40.
Ötzi the Iceman, the 5,300-year-old mummy found in the Italian Alps 20 years ago, suffered from cavities, worn teeth and periodontal diseases.
Presented at the 7th world congress on mummy studies in San Diego, Calif., the research dismisses the assumption that dental pathologies did not afflict the Tyrolean Iceman.
"In the past twenty years, the mummy has been examined thoroughly both anthropologically and medically. However, oral pathologies were not found," said Roger Seiler, of the Center for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zürich, Switzerland.
Using the latest CT scan technologies, Seiler and colleagues Albert Zink, at the EURAC Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Paul Gostner and Eduard Egarter-Vigl, at Bolzano hospital, analyzed the mummy's facial bones, discovering several dental problems.