Ancient Dental Calculus Excites Anthropologists

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012, 9:14 pm

Those of you who are harboring ancient dental calculus of your own because you haven’t been to visit your dental hygienist in a while should find this interesting. 1000 years from now anthropologists could use your hardened plaque to figure out what you ate!

Researchers at the University of Nevada discovered that by removing very small particles of dental calculus from the teeth of ancient remains and running the samples through a mass spectrometer they could figure out whether ancient diets were primarily plant or animal.

Researcher Dr. G. Richard Scott explained that bone is normally used for this but museum curators frown on the experiments because the bone is destroyed in the process. Hair and nails said Scott “are great when you find them. The problem is they just don’t hold up very well. They decompose too quickly. Dental calculus, for better or worse, stays around a very long time.”

Dental calculus definitely falls into the “worse” category when it comes to your oral health. Dental plaque is a biofilm that forms on your teeth that is made up of oral bacteria, food debris, etc. The substance is soft and can be removed easily at first but after a day or so hardens to become calculus. Calculus can’t be removed by brushing and flossing alone, you need the help of your friendly dental hygienist to get the stuff off your teeth.

Ancient man was not aware of the importance of good oral hygiene and I can only imagine the bad breath! Contact Wilbanks Smile Center  in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-2581 to schedule your dental hygiene visit. Ancient calculus is only a good thing if you are an archeologist and even then, only if it is in an ancient mouth.

 

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Category: gum disease, oral health


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