Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One for the paleo boys: Cereals rot your teeth

This abstract went across my screen earlier today as I was trawling for interesting tit bits.

Again I've just read the abstract so as ever you need to be aware that the full study might say more in different ways, but I thought it interesting that there appears to be this implicit assumption that archaeological evidence is obvious that cereals cause tooth decay.

Here is the abstract:

Frequency of dental caries in four historical populations from the chalcolithic to the middle ages.

The majority of dental carie studies over the course of historical period underline mainly the prevalence evolution, the role of carbohydrates consumption and the impact of access to dietary resources. The purpose of the present investigation was to compare population samples from two archaeological periods the Chacolithic and Middle Age taking into account the geographical and socio economical situation. The study concerned four archaelogical sites in south west France and population samples an inlander for the Chalcolithic Age, an inlander, an costal and urban for the Middle Age. The materials studied included a total of 127 maxillaries, 103 mandibles and 3316 teeth. Data recorded allowed us to display that the Chalcolithic population sample had the lowest carie percentage and the rural inlander population samples of Middle Age the highest; in all cases molars were teeth most often affected. These ones differences could be explained according to time period, carious lesions were usually less recorded in the Chalcolithic Age than the Middle because of a lesser cultivation of cereals like in les Treilles Chacolithic population sample. In the Middle Age population samples, the rural inland sample Marsan showed the highest frequency of caries and ate more cereal than the coastal Vilarnau and the poor urban St Michel population samples, the first one ate fish and Mediterranean vegetal and fruits and the second one met difficulties to food access, in both cases the consumption of carbohydrates was lesser than Marsan population sample who lived in a geographical land convice to cereals cultivation.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't resist this Chris...so what interesting tits did you find while you were trawling? (read your first sentence).

Miki said...

Link to free full text http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijd/2011/519691/

Jim Purdy said...

The development of cavities is a complex process involving the Ph of saliva and how it interacts with bacterial biofilm.

It does seem reasonable that switching from a paleolithic diet to a high-carb agricultural diet would have made a big difference to a lot of things in the body.

And most were probably not good.