Oral disease has been a problem for humans from the beginning of history. Skulls of Cro-Magnon peoples, who inhabited the earth 25,000 years ago, show evidence of tooth decay. The earliest recorded reference to oral disease is from an ancient (5000 BC) Sumerian text that describes "tooth worms" as a cause of dental decay. There is historical evidence that the Chinese used acupuncture around 2700 BC to treat pain associated with tooth decay.
This History of Dentistry site contains a descriptive narrative that tells the story of how dentistry developed through the ages to become the sophisticated medical science of today. The site begins with facts about prehistoric and ancient ideas about teeth and tooth disease, as well as early method of care and treatment. From there, the writer continues the story under a wide range of subject headings from "The Etruscan Practical Approach" to "The History of Toothpaste." Each article also includes links to endnotes as well. This site is part of the larger South African Dental Association site and there are a host of articles concerning contemporary dental issues that can be accessed from the side bar. The site acts as a primer on dental history and a guide to literary reference.