Why Did Paleo People Have Stronger Teeth Than We Do Today?

It’s true! Ancient peoples didn’t have all the oral care routines that we do today, and yet, they didn’t get as many cavities or need braces like we do today. What’s up with that? Are our modern teeth just weaker? You and I need to brush and floss every day, plus get our teeth professionally cleaned every six-months, in order to keep them in tip-top shape—but early man did not. Have you ever wondered why?

It’s safe to say that prehistoric man didn’t have toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash or any of the common oral items that we use today. In fact, for us, that stuff is part of our daily ritual that we must keep up or we may lose the use of our natural teeth before their time. Worse case scenario, by the time we’re old and gray we’ll lose all our teeth and have to replace them with dentures if we neglect those things. Restoration or dentures were not even an option for ancient man. If they lost their teeth, they probably wouldn’t survive long.

The answer to our ancient ancestors tough teeth is this: according to scientific data, early man had stronger teeth due to the kinds of foods they ate—in particular, the lack of sugars from processed foods and carbohydrates. Until the rise of the agricultural age (around 10,000 years ago), there wasn’t really any major tooth decay going on among the human race. Early man was a meat-eater and what vegetables he ate were fibrous. Fruits were a rare sweet treat, and he didn’t get a lot of sugar in his diet. So, his mouth evolved to the environment around him.

Today, because of the age of farming, agriculture, and global transportation of every type of food we desire, our teeth have become weaker and suffer from the overabundance of sugar and carbohydrates in most of the foods we eat. Mouth bacteria feeds off the sugar and causes much more decay than ancient man ever had to deal with. That is the secret to strong teeth that our ancestors benefited from and modern man suffers.

If you have questions about your oral health, call Dr. Robert Rosenfeld DDS and our helpful team in Solana Beach, California at: 858-755-1189.