Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Ancient Skeletons Reveal the Cost of a Sweet Tooth

Sweet tooth

People today have far higher frequencies of decay-associated bacteria than during the agricultural or hunter-gatherer periods.

By Christina Adler

A genetic study of ancient oral bacteria in the calcified dental plaque of human skeletons shows that our ancestors had healthier mouths than us.

Christina Adler is an Associate Lecturer in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Sydney.

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