Sugar is not to blame: our ancient ancestors had the same problems with their teeth

Tooth decay - one of the main problems associated with the teeth, in the modern world. Sodas, fruit juices, wine and other acidic foods often become the main accused, and then goes wrong, our teeth cleaning. Familiar, huh? Now scientists have found that people suffering from tooth decay for millions of years. Ian Toui, an anthropologist at John Moores University in Liverpool, and his colleagues discovered the damage, which is strikingly similar to the damage characteristic of our epoch, on the two front teeth of one of our ancient ancestors age of 2, 5 million years. Apparently, prehistoric humans and their predecessors have experienced remarkably similar to our dental problems, despite our very different diets.

Sugar is not to blame: our ancient ancestors had the same problems with their teeth

Tooth erosion may affect all dental tissues and typically leaves a small shiny damage to enamel and root surfaces. If you are too furiously brushing the teeth can damage tooth tissue that eventually will allow the acidic food and drinks to form deep holes, known as non-carious cervical lesions.

Scientists have discovered such damage on fossilized teeth of human ancestors - Australopithecus africanus. Given the size and position of the damage, at this particular individual was probably a toothache or excessive sensitivity. Where then did prehistoric man with dental problems, which are indistinguishable from our own, supposedly caused by large amounts of absorbed pop?

Sugar is not to blame: our ancient ancestors had the same problems with their teeth

A can lead to other unusual parallels. Abrasive wear of teeth today are also often associated with aggressive cleaning. Australopitecus africanus, probably felt like the destruction due to consumption of hard and fibrous products. In order to form the damage still needs a diet rich in acidic foods. Instead of carbonated drinks is likely to have citrus fruits and sour vegetables. Root vegetables (potatoes, etc.), it is difficult to eat, and some species can be surprisingly acidic, so they could also be the cause of destruction.

Erosion of tooth enamel is very rarely seen in the fossilized record, but it may be due to the fact that scientists do not think to look for it to present day. More likely to have a different problem, carious hole or cavity.

Cavities are the most common cause of toothache and now appear as a result of the consumption of starchy or sugary foods and drinks. This problem is considered relatively modern and is associated with the fact that the invention of agriculture has opened people access to a wealth of carbohydrates, and then refined sugars.

Sugar is not to blame: our ancient ancestors had the same problems with their teeth

The latest research shows that it is not. Cavities found in fossilized teeth from the very first period of the existence of prehistoric people. They were formed in all probability, the consumption of certain fruits and vegetables as well as honey. Often, tooth decay was very abundant, such as in the newly discovered species Homo naledi. These cavities are so deep that certainly evolved over several years and were the cause of the terrible toothaches.

Abrasion of enamel

Another striking example of enamel wear is also quite significantly represented in the fossil record list, and again we can only guess how and why he appeared at the men of old, studying modern people's teeth. This process of dental abrasion, which is caused by repeated friction or latching hard object in the teeth. This may be due to the biting nails, or smoking pipe holding a sewing needle between the teeth. Typically, these processes leave traces through the years, so when we find these holes in the fossilized teeth, we have the opportunity to throw a unique perspective on the behavior and culture.

The best examples of this prehistoric teeth deterioration are "Toothpick depressions," which is believed to be formed due to the repeated placing of the object in the mouth, generally in the gaps between the rear teeth. The presence of microscopic scratches around these grooves indicate that they are examples of prehistoric oral hygiene when man used a stick or other implements to displace food. Some of these grooves are found on the same teeth, where they met cavities and other problems, which suggests that they may also talk about people trying to reduce their toothache. These lesions were found in different species of hominids, including Neanderthals and prehistoric people, but only in the species most closely related to us, rather than our older ancestors. This can mean that the wear of the teeth is the result of a more complex behavior species with large brains. It is more likely that this is a consequence of various dietary and cultural habits.

Now we know that the complex and serious dental problems that we often associate with a modern diet and treatment products, in fact, existed a long time ago, though were not so pronounced.