Ancient Bacteria Still Causing Oral Health Problems

Friday, March 7th, 2014, 9:14 pm

The same bacteria that gave our ancient ancestors oral health problems are still wreaking havoc on modern smiles.

An international team, led by Dr. Christina Warinner from the department of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, is attempting to built a detailed picture of people from the German Medieval population. In the quest to find more information about the health and diets of this population they took samples of dental calculus from 1,000 year old teeth. Although the samples were small, dental calculus harbors a lot of DNA. “What makes dental calculus so unique is that it acts both as a long-term reservoir of the oral microbiome and as a trap for dietary and environmental debris,” said Dr. Warriner.

The DNA and protein analysis found that the same inflammatory disease-causing bacteria found in Medieval Germans is about the same as the bacteria that cause periodontal disease today!

Preventing Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is completely preventable thanks to modern dentistry. There were no dental hygieniests 1,000 years ago. Now we know that good home care – brushing and flossing every day – along with regular dental hygiene visits can keep most smiles healthy.

Dental calculus is a very hard substance that cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing. Because dental calculus serves as “reservoir” for bacteria and traps food particles it is important that it be removed regularly by a dental hygienist in order to maintain healthy gums.

Find out more about preventing periodontal disease by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next visit.

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Category: gum disease

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