Dr. Courtney R. Villari, DDS - 7700 Madison St., River Forest, IL 60305, (708) 689-0419

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By Ovation Dental
December 19, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Tooth Decay  

A new finding in Morocco's Grotte des Pigeons reveals that tooth decay is far from a new problem. Relics found dating back 15,000 years from people in the Pleistocene era found significant incidences of tooth decay. And we're willing to bet not one of them had a toothbrush or toothpaste handy to fend off decay like our River Forest dentist patients do.

What is most interesting about this find is that previously, archaeological discoveries found only mild to moderate tooth decay. Most skeletons had at most decay in less than 20 percent of their teeth. This was certainly not the profound tooth decay the skeletons in the Grotte des Pigeons exhibited. An estimated 94 percent of the skeletons had tooth decay as well as painful dental abscesses. Major ouch.

Archaeologists hypothesize the major contributing factor to all this decay was what causes many people's tooth decay today: What they eat. The people of the Grotte des Pigeons ate diets high in carbohydrates, especially a sticky, sweet acorn that tended to stick to their teeth. This could attract decay-causing sugars. Also, the people ate wild oats and legumes, which contain carbohydrates. The people's unique diet is likely what led to their problematic teeth.

Flash-forward to today where many of our River Forest dentist patients eat similar diets and tooth decay remains a problem nationwide. An estimated 92 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 in the United States have some form of tooth decay. By avoiding snacking all day and limiting intake of sugary and high-carbohydrate foods, you don't have to end up like the people of the Grotte des Pigeons.

For more information on how we help to keep our River Forest, IL dentist patients free from tooth decay, please call (708) 689-0419.