Interesting article from Medline
Ancient humans had healthier teeth than people do today, researchers say.
This decline in oral health over the past 7,500 years is the result of changes in oral bacteria due to human evolution and industrialization, the study authors said. These changes have led to chronic oral and other health problems, according to the report published Feb. 18 in Nature Genetics.
Similar information from Discover Magazine
…ancient hunter-gatherers actually had pretty good dental health, as evidenced by their healthy teeth and diverse bacterial populations. Things didn’t start going downhill until the Neolithic period, about 10,000 years ago.
At this point people transitioned to an agricultural society and ate mostly wheat and barley. These carbohydrates are fermentable, and encourage prolific growth of only a few kinds of bacteria in the mouth. These species overtook the others, creating a relatively homogeneous oral bacterial population.
Tooth decay and gum disease soon followed, which are visible in the skeletons. Both infections can be avoided by having a healthy mix of oral bacteria…
- Ancient Chompers Were Healthier Than Ours(wnyc.org)
- It’s too late for your teeth(bio230fall2010.wordpress.com)
- By gum – modern diet blamed as study reveals state of our mouths(smh.com.au)