Ancient tooth plaque reveals ancestor diet

At Smiles by Shields, we see dental health as one component of your total body health. Part of what leads to health is a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. While our ancient ancestors may not have enjoyed dental care, they apparently did enjoy a plant-based diet long before agricultural settling.

In new research from the University of York, researchers found evidence that our prehistoric ancestors had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture. By extracting chemical compounds and microfossils from dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) from ancient teeth, the researchers were able to provide an entirely new perspective on our ancestors’ diets. Their research suggests that purple nut sedge (Cyperus rotundus) — today regarded as a nuisance weed — formed an important part of the prehistoric diet.

As it turns out, our ancestors may have been more attuned to today’s nutritional questions than we may have realized. If you have questions about your dental health in relation to your total body health, contact Smiles by Shields today!


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