Monday, January 6, 2014

Much caries already 15,000 years ago: Acorns and snails bad for the ... - NEWS


Tuesday 07 January 2014

caries was among hunters and gatherers actually very rare – but in North Africa had people 15,000 years ago already many carious teeth. The hunter-gatherers subsisted among other things, acorns, pine nuts and screws – and they were bad for teeth


14000-15000 year-old upper jaw of early humans with various diseases in the oral cavity as well as badly worn and carious fenc TEETH. Found was the bit in the " " at Grotte des Pigeons Taforalt in Morocco. 14000-15000 year-old upper jaw of a early humans with various diseases in the oral cavity as well as badly worn and carious teeth. The bit in the “Cave of Pigeons” was found in Taforalt in Morocco (photo: dpa).

hunter-gatherers in the east of present-day Morocco had around 15,000 years ago extraordinarily strong caries. Almost every set of teeth found in excavations had rotted. More than every second tooth of adults had at least one hole, as anthropologists in the “Proceedings” of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (“PNAS”) report. The team led by Louise Humphrey from the Natural History Museum in London had examined 52 bits.


had had hunter-gatherers rarely caries. But the people of North Africa would have fed mainly on acorns and pine nuts, the researchers write. These included reportedly particularly many carbs and ensure deposits on the teeth, which then leads to tooth decay. Therefore, the decay was so frequent as in modern industrialized populations, which makes a lot of refined sugar and processed cereal teeth broken.

The remains of the jaw bones and teeth belong to the culture of Ibéromaurusien, who had lived in the Middle and Late Stone Age in North Africa. According to the study 51 percent of the teeth had holes and only 3 out of 52 adults no signs of tooth decay.

Little caries among hunters and collectors

previous studies were 2 to 48 percent of people who had practiced agriculture, affected by caries. In hunter-gatherers more than 14 percent had bad teeth.

caries occurs when several factors come together: You eat a lot of starch and sugars on the teeth to form plaque and these are not regularly cleaned away thoroughly, the saliva contains the bacteria Streptococcus mutans. These bacteria feed on the carbohydrates of the plaque. This produces acids that dissolve tooth enamel. This creates a hole, which can still further into the tooth.

No typical hunter-gatherers more

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fact that it was the people of the Ibéromaurusien culture had as much caries as modern man, according to the researchers for several reasons. They were probably not typical hunter-gatherers more. Thus, the researchers found at the archaeological site of vessels with larger plant remains such as acorn caps and pine nuts. These finds are between 15,000 and 13,700 years old. Acorns and pine nuts are rich in carbohydrates, which can be destroyed by caries bacteria.

Moreover, people of Ibéromaurusien culture would have most frequently eaten snails. The researchers write: “Even if these are not causing known as tooth decay, so abrasive particles may have been contributed by the screw to the fact that the teeth were worn out.” In the scratches caries could arise particularly well.

tooth decay is now one of the most common infectious diseases in the industrialized countries and often occurs even in children. The causing bacteria can be transmitted through saliva between people. After the fourth German Oral Health Study caries affects an average of about 15 teeth in adults aged 35 to 44 years. More than 90 percent of the teeth are obtained by treatment.


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