MINNEAPOLIS - This may sound strange, but a new study shows our ancestors had much healthier mouths.
Making it even stranger is that their mouths had a greater diversity of bacteria.
The study, published in Nature Genetics, says the meat-dominated diet of our ancestors changed when humans began farming.
That increased the amount of refined carbohydrates and sugars in our diet and reduced bacterial diversity allowing cavity causing bacteria to dominate.
"And we really now, more than ever, need to balance that risk factor with protection like fluoride, fluoride in our water, fluoride that's delivered in the dental chair to basically balance that risk," said Robert Jones, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.
Jones said researchers at the U of M are actually studying new ways to replace cavity causing bacteria with less harmful bacteria.
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