A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg has uncovered fascinating insights into the dental practices of the Viking population in Varnhem, Sweden. The study, which analyzed 3,293 teeth from 171 individuals, revealed that nearly half of the Viking population, 49%, had one or more caries lesions. Interestingly, children with milk teeth were found to be entirely caries-free, while 13% of adults experienced caries, often at the roots.
The research also examined tooth loss among the Viking population. On average, adults lost about 6% of their teeth (excluding wisdom teeth) over their lifetimes. The risk of tooth loss increased with age, highlighting the challenges faced by the Vikings in maintaining oral health. Despite these difficulties, the study unveiled instances of advanced dentistry among the Vikings.
One remarkable finding was the presence of tooth modifications in the Viking population. Some molars exhibited holes filed from the crown into the pulp, which may have been a dental procedure aimed at relieving pressure and addressing severe toothache caused by infection. This discovery suggests a level of sophisticated dental treatment that closely resembles contemporary practices. Additionally, the study found evidence of filed front teeth, which could have served as identity markers within the Viking society.
It is worth noting that the study predominantly involved male cases, providing valuable new insights into Viking oral health. By shedding light on the dental practices of the Viking population in Varnhem, the research challenges previous assumptions and demonstrates that Viking dentistry was more advanced than previously believed.
In conclusion, the recent study conducted at the University of Gothenburg has revealed intriguing details about the dental practices of the Vikings in Varnhem, Sweden. The findings highlight the prevalence of caries among the Viking population, the risk of tooth loss with age, and the existence of advanced dentistry techniques such as tooth modifications and dental treatments for infected teeth. This research provides valuable insights into the oral health of the Vikings and suggests that their dental practices were more sophisticated than previously thought.