Uncovering the Past: Bacteria Withstanding the Test of Time

ANCIENT TEETH Recently, a team of researched have discovered well-preserved oral bacteria on skeletons around 1,000 years old! What secrets do these remains hold?

The scientists found that dental plaque was what kept the bacteria and particles of food on the teeth in tact, which allowed the research team to look further into what oral pathogens were present in the past. They found that even with the drastic changes in diet and hygiene (we hope!), the ancient human cavity is the home to a variety of pathogens and bacteria similar to the ones found today.

What’s even more exciting was that the ancient human oral microbiome found contained the basic line of antibiotic resistance, which is more than eight centuries before the invention of therapeutic antibiotics in the 1940s! The scientists also uncovered dietary DNA from the dental plaque found, which give the researchers a window into the types of vegetables and fruits consumed.

Although these were exciting finds for the research team, the scientists have a long road ahead of them. Gaining a wealth of data is always an exciting event, but it will be a challenge for the researchers to piece together and identify the genetic sequences that came forth from the ancient oral microbiome they discovered.

These findings can truly be a great step forward towards a better understanding of the evolution of the human oral microbiome and the beginnings of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease affects more than 10% of the world population and has been associated with several systemic diseases including pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and even type II diabetes. Through analyzing the human oral microbiome, scientists can track the progression of bacteria, paving new ways to prevent periodontal disease and contain bacterial production within the oral cavity.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


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