Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
Search
Help
space placeholder.space placeholder
Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
.
HomeFree E-mail
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
 PREVENT PROBLEMS
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
 CONDITIONS
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
 TREATMENTS
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
 GENERAL TOPICS
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
.
Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

go to Interactive Tools go to Parents' Guide go to Dental Drugs go to News go to Ask The Dentist

graphic for Dental News showing newspaper
.
.

Tooth Decay: An Ancient Disease
January 16, 2014

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - Tooth decay existed long before candy, soda and starchy snacks, finds a new study.

Archaeologists from the United Kingdom, Morocco and Germany did the research. They studied human remains found at Grotte de Pigeons, or "Cave of the Pigeons," in Morocco.

The 52 people whose bones were found there lived between 15,000 and 13,700 years ago. This was before the age of farming. Forty-nine of them 94% -- had tooth decay.

Decay affected about one-third of the younger adults' teeth and more than half of the older adults' teeth. The researchers also found that many adults had missing teeth. Existing teeth were severely worn.

Evidence suggests that the Grotte de Pigeons people ate large amounts of acorns and pine nuts. They may have gathered and stored them for eating throughout the winter. Acorns are particularly high in carbohydrates. Storing acorns can increase their sugar content.

The scientists also found evidence that the acorns may have been cooked into a sticky mash. This could cause bits of food to remain between teeth after eating.

The researchers noted that in 90% of adults, the upper front teeth had been pulled out on purpose. This practice was common among people in this area at the time, but experts do not know why it was done. Once these teeth were pulled, the bone underneath would begin to weaken. Chewing would become more difficult.

Until now, the spread of tooth decay has been linked with the rise of farming, which occurred about 10,000 years ago. Many plant foods are high in carbohydrates. Experts believe that when people began eating a steady diet of these plant foods, it promoted the growth and spread of bacteria that cause tooth decay. But the Grotte de Pigeons people pre-date the rise of farming by up to 5,000 years.

The study appears in the January 7 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

.
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version     
.
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version
 
......
Powered by Aetna Dental Plans

© 2002-2014 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window.