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Researchers trying to figure out what our ancestors ate have discovered that ancient Britons, like us, loved their carbs.
Plaque preserved on the teeth of people dead for centuries can be used to reveal what their favorite foods were, an international team of researchers found. This dental calculus shows a diet heavy on carbohydrates, including oats, peas and cabbage, from the eighth century right up to modern times.
And people from the year 700 through modern times all appear to have depended heavily on milk for their protein.
Archeologist Jessica Hendy of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and colleagues are trying to find the best ways to use ancient teeth to figure out what ancient people ate.
Researchers struck it lucky when the frozen, mummified body of a 5,000-year-old man, later named Ötzi, was found in the Alps in 1991. His stomach contents were well preserved by the dry cold — revealing a last meal of goat meat, venison and wheat.
Example of dental calculus analyzed in this study
Jessica Hendy et al. / Proceedings of the Royal Society B
But often, all that is left of people long dead are bones and teeth. Hendy’s team is looking at ways to optimize the study of dental plaque, which, they wrote, “entombs and preserves” molecules of food.
“Traces of foodstuffs can be sourced directly from the human mouth, uniquely revealing precise evidence of particular foods consumed,” they wrote in their report, published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
They used a high-tech approach called proteomics, which analyzes specific proteins in a sample, to re-examine the data collected from 38 samples dating back to England’s Iron Age and the Roman occupation of the island. They used a new protein extraction method to analyze samples from the teeth of people who died in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as people living now or who recently died.
“A total of 100 archaeological samples of dental calculus were analyzed,” they wrote.
One challenge is to separate human proteins from food proteins. The only meat sample they could distinguish was a single incidence of venison. It’s not clear whether that is because meat was rarely eaten, or because it’s too difficult to use current methods to tell animal proteins from the human proteins that would naturally be found in the mouth of a human being.
Hendy’s team found proteins they could identify as coming from oats, peas and plants from the cabbage family in the ancient samples. In modern samples, potatoes, soybeans and peanuts were common.
“Interestingly, we observe that milk proteins are consistently detected throughout all time periods within this study and are detected in 20 percent of individuals overall in ancient and modern individuals,” Hendy’s team wrote.
Northern Europeans commonly carry a genetic mutation that allows them to drink and tolerate milk well into adulthood. Scientists believe that the ability to drink milk gave people a survival advantage.
Understanding what people ate and how diets have changed help paint a clearer picture of long-gone cultures. People can analyze the residue left in ceramic cookware and offerings at gravesites. They can also analyze hair and bones to find chemical signatures of certain classes of food.
But analyzing the hardened plaque on teeth gives a unique picture of what actually went into people’s mouths, Hendy’s team noted
Author: Maggie Fox
Article Originally Appeared at: http://www.nbcnews.com
Whether you use sticks, pens, mods, or any other kind of vaporizer, it is likely a good idea to try and break the habit. Whilst more long-term research is still needed, particularly on how e-cigarettes affect dental health, recent research does not appear favorable for vaping.
New research is showing that vaping devices can release a variety of chemicals and metal particles, which could then be inhaled by users. The levels of these toxic chemicals and metals may be lower than those found in tobacco smoke, however, some of these chemicals are known to be poisonous, and others even cancer-causing.
Some of the toxic chemicals that can be inhaled when vaping include:
There was a time when vaping was thought to be a healthier alternative to cigarette smoking, however, as time passes, more and more studies are suggesting that this is not the case.
If you have any questions regarding vaping or on other alternatives to quit smoking, please do not hesitate to talk to your team at Soho Dental. We are here to help you on your path to good health, and this should mean staying vape and smoke-free!
Photo courtesy of http://vaping360.com/
Inflammation associated with gum disease is likely to blame, but further research is needed to understand the relationship.
Gum disease increases risk for heart attack by nearly 50%, according to a recent study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
Known as the PAROKRANK study (Periodontitis and its Relation to Coronary Artery Disease), this study tested the link between gum disease and heart attack risk. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that affects the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. According to a 2012 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gum disease affects nearly half of American adults over the age of 30.
However, this common condition doesn’t just affect the teeth and gums. Many studies have linked gum disease to heart disease, likely due to its inflammatory properties. Just as gum disease causes inflammation of the gums, heart disease is associated with inflammation of the heart’s arteries, leading many to wonder whether gum inflammation triggers or worsens heart disease, or vice versa.
To further our understanding of gum disease and heart health, the PAROKRANK study compared the gum health of patients with and without a history of heart attack. Among more than 1,600 Swedish adults included in the study, half suffered a heart attack between 2010 and 2014. The other half were otherwise healthy patients part of a national Swedish registry. In addition to collecting information about participants’ health and lifestyle, researchers conducted dental exams on each participant during the study period.
Overall, researchers found that gum disease was significantly more common in heart attack patients than healthy adults. Approximately 43% of heart attack patients had gum disease, while gum disease affected only 33% of healthy adults. After analysis, researchers found that individuals with teeth and gums were 49% more likely to have a heart attack than those without.
As authors explain, these findings strengthen the possibility of a relationship between gum disease and heart disease. Many studies have now linked gum disease to increased risk for heart disease and it’s likely that inflammation is to blame. However, authors point out that findings do not confirm whether gum disease actually causes heart disease. There is a clear link between the two, as this study suggests, but further research is needed to better understand the relationship between gum disease and heart health.
Article originally appeared at: https://www.cardiosmart.org