Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2014 06:01 pm
One of the hinge points in human history was the invention of agriculture. It led to large communities, monumental architecture and complex societies. It also led to tooth decay.

When hunter-gatherers started adding grains and starches to their diet, it brought about the "age of cavities." At least that's what a lot of people thought. But it turns out that even before agriculture, what hunter-gatherers ate could rot their teeth.

The evidence comes from a cave in Morocco — the Cave of the Pigeons, it's called — where ancient people lived and died between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago. These were hunters and gatherers; they didn't grow stuff. And what was astonishing to scientists who've studied the cave people was the condition of their teeth.

"Basically, nearly everybody in the population had caries," or tooth decay, says Louise Humphrey, a paleo-anthropologist with the Natural History Museum in London.

Anthropologists say early humans who hunted and gathered had longer jaws to hold all those teeth.
The Salt
Farm-Fresh Food May Have Shaped The Modern Mouth
Humphrey says 94 percent of the more than 50 people from the cave she studied had serious tooth decay. "I was quite surprised by that," says Humphrey. "I haven't seen that extent of caries in other ancient populations.
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Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2014 07:46 am
That's interesting because I just listened to some quack dietician who said cavities were solely the result of our modern diets. He even cherry picked some examples to prove his point but I was skeptical. It's interesting that this 12,000-15,000 year old hunter gatherers had cavities given that their average life span my have been less than 30. I'm a 35 year old who occasionally eats candy and occasionally drinks soda and I've never had a cavity.
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Reply Wed 13 Apr, 2016 06:54 pm
Very old diet emerges...
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 01:28 am
That could be helpful then.
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