We don’t often think about ancient civilizations being able to outsmart us. In most cases, we find that our advanced technology and scientific findings have put us well ahead of our ancestors. We like to study those ancient stories so that we can further improve our own society. There are cases, however, where we find that our civilization is actually not doing so great. In the case of gum disease, the ancient Romans were way ahead of us!
Their Gum Disease Success
Researchers studying the skulls of ancient Romans were looking to see how dental care has improved over the centuries. They expected to see teeth that weren’t in great shape because Romans rarely sought care for their teeth. They did find lots of decay and abscesses, but when it came to gum disease, scientists were surprised. Very few of the Romans showed signs of gum disease. While surprising, there is a good explanation: our bad habits.
Our Gum Disease Failure
About four out of every five people will develop gum disease in our society, and the majority of lost adult teeth are lost because of gum disease! It didn’t take much to realize the habits we have that the Romans didn’t: tobacco and unhealthy eating. Tobacco use and diabetes explain our higher rates of gum disease. The Romans were unable to create these bad habits, therefore their mouths were practically free of gum disease.
So maybe the Romans didn’t out-smart us after all, but this new discovery should give you some insight into your own risk for gum disease. Smoking and diabetes significantly raise your risk of gum disease. Start fighting today by giving us a call to schedule a cleaning and exam. We would love to see you and speak with you about your oral hygiene routine!