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Our ancestors had healthier teeth than we do today

A genetic study of bacteria found on the teeth of 34 ancient skeletons in Northern Europe has revealed that our ancestors had healthier teeth than we do today.

According to the research, the composition of oral bacteria initially changed markedly with the introduction of farming around 7500 years ago, and deteriorated further with the introduction of processed foods in the industrial revolution.

Prehistoric people had no cavities and their breath was “probably not bad”, says Prof Cooper, who started the project 17 years ago with archaeologist and co-leader Professor Keith Dobney.

The research, conducted with the Department of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England, is described as the first record of how evolution over the past 7500 has affected human bacteria.

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Story: News.com.au | Photo: Thinkstock

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