Tooth decay: caries through pine nuts and acorns

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Caries through pine nuts and acorns - Our ancestors also suffered from tooth decay

Findings to date have shown that our ancestors rarely suffered from tooth decay. Now, during excavations in eastern Morocco, researchers have discovered the remains of the Iberomaurusia, which showed signs of tooth decay far more frequently than previously thought. These primitive people lived in North Africa about 15,000 years ago in the Middle and Late Stone Age. Almost every bit found was rotten. Every second tooth of an adult had at least one hole. This was reported by a team of anthropologists led by Louis Humphrey from the Natural History Museum in London in the "Proceedings" of the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Hunters and gatherers rarely have tooth decay. This is unusual insofar as hunters and gatherers usually rarely suffered from tooth decay. Caries can develop if a lot of starch and sugar are eaten and there is insufficient dental care. If the deposits on the teeth are not regularly removed thoroughly, acids are formed which attack and dissolve the enamel. The reason for this are the so-called "Streptococcus mutans" bacteria in human saliva, which feed on the carbohydrates of the plaque and cause holes. The first signs of tooth decay are whitish to brownish spots on the teeth. Toothache only appears later when the tooth enamel has already been broken. This process can be stopped up to a certain stage. However, if the tooth decay is too advanced, the dentist has to remove the carious area and close the hole with a filling.

Snails and acorns as food The researchers found vessels with larger plant remains such as acorn caps and pine nuts at the excavation sites. Acorns and pine nuts are rich in carbohydrates that can be broken down by caries bacteria. Many remains of snails have also been found, which are also suspected of indirectly promoting tooth decay. "Even if these are not known to cause tooth decay, abrasive particles from the snails can have contributed to the teeth being worn out," said the researchers. Tooth decay is one of the most common infectious diseases in industrialized countries. Caries often occurs in childhood. The triggering bacteria can be transmitted from person to person through saliva. Caries affects an average of about 15 teeth in adults aged 35 to 44 years, according to the fourth German oral health study. After all, more than 90 percent of teeth can be preserved through treatment. (fr)

Image: Jerzy Sawluk /

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Video: Youd Never Guess What an Acorn Woodpecker Eats. Deep Look


  1. Kazrak

    It is really surprising.

  2. Winton

    Excuse for that I interfere... At me a similar situation. Let's discuss.

  3. Vitilar

    According to my, someone's letter - alexia :)

  4. Tojale

    You have specially signed up to the forum to say thank you for your help on this question.

  5. Meztiran

    I thought about it and deleted this question

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