Using Dental Plaque in Anthropology

Curated News:

By Timberlake Dental curated from Science Daily

“…very small particles of plaque removed from the teeth of ancient populations may provide good clues about their diets…”

See full article on Science Daily


We work on removing our dental plaque every day these days for our oral health.  According to this article, that very same dental plaque has proven to be potentially useful as evidence of human diets centuries ago – by anthropologists.  According to University of Nevada scientists, hair, muscle and nails are an excellent source of information on ancient diets, but they rarely survive for centuries.  The dental plaque does survive though, so they are using samples now to see what they can determine about diets.  They are looking for, in particular, evidence of the how much food was garnered from hunting vs. gathering.

Dr. Rodney Chowning, General and Sedation Dentist Denton TX