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Ancient mankind's failure to brush after every meal may unlock secrets of medieval diet

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/25/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Tartar found on teeth show proof that ancient humans ate lots of vegetables

Medieval men weren't that keen on dental hygiene. It was not unusual for many people during this period to go toothless before they turned 30. Now, hardened plaque discovered on the teeth of 1,000-year-old human skeletons has yielded historical riches on how our ancestors ate, worked and lived.

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria. When it hardens, it forms tartar.

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria. When it hardens, it forms tartar.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
2/25/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Plaque, gum disease, ancient man, dental records


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Described by researchers as a "microbial Pompeii," the plaque preserved bacteria and microscopic particles of food on the surfaces of teeth, effectively creating a mineral tomb for micro biomes.

Our ancient ancestors had gum disease that was caused by the same bacteria that still plagues modern man, in spite of major changes in diet and hygiene.

Light up the darkness -- by going here --

The ancient human oral micro biome already contained the basic genetic machinery for antibiotic resistance over eight centuries before the invention of antibiotics in the 1940s.

Undetected in fossil records, DNA testing of the dental tartar displayed some of the things ancient humans had been eating, like vegetables.
 
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria. When it hardens, it forms tartar.

Unlike bone, which rapidly loses much of its molecular information when buried, calculus grows slowly in the mouth and enters the soil in a much more stable state, helping it to preserve biomolecules.

The study of the ancient teeth may help dentists discover the evolution of the human mouth bacteria and the origins of periodontal, or gum disease.

Although common in humans, domestic pets, and zoo animals, periodontal disease does not typically develop in wild animals. This has led to speculation that it is an oral micro biome disease resulting from modern human lifestyles.

Severe gum disease is linked to diverse systemic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, and type II diabetes.

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