Ancient Dental Trivia

I recently came across some facts regarding ancient dentistry and oral care. It’s always interesting to see how much has changed and yet in some cases, I find it amazing how innovative things were for those times.

  • Egyptians were reportedly the first to use toothpaste, the main ingredients of which were eggshells and pumice.
  • Although they did not have toothbrushes or toothpaste, the ancient Romans of Pompeii were said to have excellent teeth because their diets were so low in sugar.
  • The Mayans actually used tooth-shaped shells for dental implants! The shells contained calcium carbonate which allowed them to integrate with the bone.
  • In medieval times, the Japanese used to dye their teeth black through a practice called Ohaguro which was a statement of beauty. It evidently acted as a dental sealant to prevent tooth decay as well.
  • Ancient civilizations as far back as 2,500 years ago, bedazzled their teeth with semi-precious jewels, attaching the stones with adhesives made of natural resins like plant sap.
  • The Etruscans were likely the first to experiment with filling gold teeth.

So, these are just a few of the interesting facts I found in ancient dentistry. What amazes me most is their ingenuity given the lack of modern resources and technology.


Our Location

1939 Erringer Road Simi Valley, CA 93065

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Jon C. Ellison, D.D.S.


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am - 5:00 pm (phone only)


8:30 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm