Saturday, February 23, 2013

modern teeth problems

Researchers at University of Adelaide published a new paper looking at DNA in dental plaque found in prehistoric skeletons. According to this paper headed by Dr. Alan Cooper and published in Nature Genetics, we have a less diverse bacterial population in our mouths with “domination” by caries-causing bacteria.

The researchers pointed to food revolution (increase in processed foods and sugars) as a key culprit in this bacterial population shift.

256516-ancient-teethPicture here

I went to a talk titled "Preventing, Treating, and Reversing the 15 Leading Causes of Death” by Dr. Michael Gregor. His presentation (and the videos on was so visually beautiful! The information he presented was also fascinating. Many of the top causes of deaths are stoppable, treatable, and reversible with a diet change (Dr. Gregor recommends a vegan diet free of all animal products). This got me thinking about maybe going that vegan route…but yogurt??? Also if the study is any indication, I wonder if paleo dieters have a lower risk for caries.

Dr. Gregor also noted that doctors rarely make dietary recommendations because 1) doctors have little to no nutrition training- average is 22 hours of instruction and 2) they don’t believe patients will make the changes. And the first point is true for dental students too, although here at Penn dental we learn how to analyze patients’ diets and make recommendations for healthy changes.

What would you miss the most if you became vegan?