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Learning From Ancient People About Our Oral Health

Published on March 5th, 2015

WE’RE BOMBARDED today by food choices and differing opinions about those choices. Trans-fats? Gluten? Vegan? What can we learn from our ancestors?

7,500 Years Ago People May Have Had Healthier Teeth

Does that seem odd? Ancient people didn’t have modern dental care or fluoride toothpastes, but they did have a different diet.

Researchers studied DNA from preserved tartar of ancient humans and concluded that these ancient mouths may have been healthier than ours today. The “basic” foods people ate allowed for more diverse bacteria to develop with none monopolizing the others.

The Industrial Revolution Introduced Processed Sugar And Many Flour-Based Foods

Our ancestors’ lifestyles eventually changed from nomadic to agricultural. Farming drastically changed their diets and may have started the decline in oral health. But big changes came about during the Industrial Revolution when processed sugar and flour became commonly consumed. This change allowed for new cavity-causing bacteria to begin dominating modern mouths.

Be Smart, Eat Healthy, & Understand These Relationships

Eating is such a big part of life—physically, emotionally, and socially. In the end, of course, how we eat is an individual choice. We just want you to be healthy, and your oral health is a huge component of your overall health. So remember that consistently eating foods made from processed flour and lots of sugar can absolutely lead to a less healthy and more disease-prone mouth.

No need adopt all of our ancestor’s habits–like eating tons of meat, or drawing on cave walls. But consider the things they were doing RIGHT, like eating more natural foods.

Thanks for reading, and for your wonderful support for our practice. We value you as our patient!

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