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Modern diet helping bacteria to wreck our teeth

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A modern diet is helping bacteria destroy our teeth.

A modern diet is helping bacteria destroy our teeth. Photo: Luis  Ascui

OUR mouths are now in ”a permanent state of disease” because the refined  modern diet has dramatically decreased the diversity of oral bacteria.

After studying 34 prehistoric human skeletons from northern Europe, an  international team of researchers has established for the first time that the  DNA can survive within the calcified plaque, known as tartar, for more than 8000  years.

That DNA trapped in the tartar reveals that the meat-dominated, grain-free  diet of the hunter gatherers gave our ancestors much healthier mouths.

Published in Nature Genetics, the research shows  declining oral  health can be pegged to major changes in the way humans lived and ate, with the  start of farming in the Neolithic age and the industrial revolution being key  turning points.