Bronze age dental discovery unveils origins of cavities and gum disease

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Study links changes in human diet to evolution of tooth decay bacteria. — CNN
Study links changes in human diet to evolution of tooth decay bacteria. — CNN

A recent study delving into ancient dental remains has unearthed intriguing insights into the evolution of oral bacteria and its implications for modern oral health, CNN reported.

It was two Bronze Age teeth, dating back about 4 thousand years and being traces of the Earliest Cavity-causing bacteria that were found recently, illustrating the facts for the presence of caries-triggering bacterium in the ancient society.

They said that the power of these findings, published in the Molecular Biology and Evolution magazine, brings S Mutans (the bacteria frequently associated with tooth decay) abundance in one of the teeth to notice.

As a result, the suggestion of Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) and Tannerella forsythia (T. forsythia) indicated in this study point out to the possible diet of the ancient people and their diverse kind of bacteria.

As per the paper of Lara Cassidy, senior researcher in the study, the in-depth probe of ancient S. mutans points to some very weird evolutionary history associated with variations of human diet habits, particularly the presence of sugar and cereal grains. The highly different dietary shifts in the ancient and current periods put the influence of all on oral health into even more starker focus.

Likewise, the research provides an insight into the loss of biodiversity in modern oral microbiomes compared to their much-anted participles. In her role as a research leader at the Centre for Human Evolution Research, Louise Humphrey focuses on the much broader implications for human health and disease through the use of ancient teeth identification and decay, their inhabitants’ microbes.