Ancient plaque reveals evolution of oral disease

Curated News:

By Timberlake Dental curated from British Dental Journal

Image Courtesy of Flickr – Gonzo Carles

“Calcified dental plaque from 34 early European skeletons dating from the Mesolithic period (Stone Age) to the Medieval period has preserved a genetic record of oral bacteria that demonstrates the impacts of evolutionary changes in human diet…”

See full article on British Dental Journal


This article is well worth your time if you have some doubts about the negative impact of carbohydrates on our modern dental health.  The article, originally from Nature Genetics, examined how the shift from hunter-gatherer food to farming foodstuffs in the Neolithic period affected oral microbiota and created an increase in disease-associated bacteria. Oral diseases such as cavities and periodontital disease were rarer in pre-Neolithic hunter-gatherers and other early hominins. Farming spawned a more carbohydrate-rich diet which, according to the article, is associated with a degradation in dental health.

Dr. Rodney D. Chowning, DDS, Sedation and General Dentistry, Denton, TX