Skip to comments.Roman gums 'healthier than ours'
Posted on 11/02/2014 7:47:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv
People living in Roman Britain had healthier gums than their modern-day descendants, a feat of archaeological dentistry shows.
A team at King's College London and the Natural History Museum found only 5% of adults had gum disease in the Roman, and certainly pre-toothbrush, era.
Modern day smoking and type 2 diabetes are blamed for a figure of nearly one in three today.
But ancient Britain was certainly not a golden age of gleaming gnashers.
The smiles of our ancestors were littered with infections, abscesses and tooth decay, the study showed...
The research group analysed 303 skulls from a burial ground in Poundbury, in Dorset. The skeletons, mostly of people who died in their 40s, dated from between AD 200 and AD 400...
Smoking is thought to increase the risk of gum disease fivefold. Type 2 diabetes also increases the risk.
Theya Molleson, from the Natural History Museum said: "This study shows a major deterioration in oral health between Roman times and modern England...
The skulls of children showed extensive signs of wear and tear due to a diet of abrasive grains and cereals.
Prof Hughes said: "We are in a better state overall now because what was clear from the skulls is they had longstanding infections which must have been a source of chronic pain over many years."
...Commenting on the results, Prof Ian Needleman, the director of the International Centre for Evidence-Based Oral Health at University College London, told the BBC: "I liked the study a lot.
"I was initially surprised, we all tend to expect a lot of dental disease in the pre-toothbrush age and that is clearly not the case.
"People should keep brushing their teeth, but the study shows oral health is more complex and smoking, diabetes and possibly diet make a major contribution."
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...
Yeah, because the teeth analyzed were FROM MEN THAT DIED AT THEIR EXPECTED LIFE SPAN FOR THAT ERA - 25 YEARS OLD.
Recent, related: Roman gladiators' diet probably not what you'd expect, researchers find.
> The skeletons, mostly of people who died in their 40s, dated from between AD 200 and AD 400...
IOW, no. And 25 wasn’t the expected life span for that era.
they didn’t have a high refined-sugar diet and processed food diet we live off today.
Life expectancy was lower, because there was a high rate of mortality for children. The bulk of them died before 5 years old.
However, if you managed to reach the age of 5, than the odds of you living about as long as we do today was surprisingly good.
>>IOW, no. And 25 wasnt the expected life span for that era.
Yes, it was.
I'll go with Sunken on this.
...oral health is more complex and smoking, diabetes and possibly diet make a major contribution.”
Possibly diet? Possibly? What a dolt!
From your link: "What the evidence supports is a population in which average life expectancy at age 10 was approximately 35 to 37 years.
This figure may be taken, I think, as relatively secure for the general Roman population, with an exception being made only for the affluent elite whose life expectancy may well have been considerably higher."
So, if we may suppose a cemetery of mostly "affluent elite", then an average age there of 45 might not be so unexpected.
Indeed....our “modern diet” is loaded with metabolic land mines yet they are pushed on us by government entities who will then turn around and complain about obesity...
If you made it through childhood, and avoided an accidental death, war or murder, it was a lot closer to the three score and ten the Bible reckons.
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