Everyone has heard the old phrase at some point in their life: when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Essentially, the phrase used within it's context has very little to do with actual Rome-- it's simply said by those who want to tell a friend or family member that they should conform to society, go with the flow, and follow the crowd. It's very rare that someone may take this phrase literally, imploring others to echo the lives of the ancient Romans, but that's exactly what researchers from King's College London found to be true.
While studying the tooth structure of 300 Romans skeletons discovered in archeological digs, researchers discovered a startling fact: over 30 percent of humans alive today struggle with some sort of gum disease, while only five percent of ancient Romans in a 200 year span (between ages of 20 to 40) were found to have dealt with the issue. What was the secret to the general dentistry success of the Romans, and what has changed in today's world?
What We Consume
It's easy to notice the effect of fattening foods and unhealthy drinks on our overall health-- you may notice a difference the next time you step on the scale, and ultimately your doctor may give you the news that your eating habits have impacted your risk of heart disease or other health issues. As the years have gone on, processed foods and sugary drinks have become a staple of most people's diets, which is something that would have never existed in the day of the ancient Romans.
In addition to packing on some extra pounds, these kinds of foods and drinks can break down your enamel, causing the decay process to speed up faster and causing tooth decay if not addressed. Instead of consuming what has been proven to hurt oral health, why not consume food that will actually boost your oral health? Experts say that tasty foods like nuts, cheese, and chicken can actually protect enamel-- fighting tooth decay in the process.
What We Smoke
Throughout the years, smoking cigarettes and the use of other tobacco products have increased. Again, most are aware of the health risk (specifically to the lungs) this can pose, but many do not stop to consider the damage they may be causing their teeth and gums in the process.
In fact, experts who took the time to compare research between smokers and non-smokers found that those who used tobacco products were four times more likely to develop gum disease than those who did not. As tobacco continues to become more prevalent, gum disease follows suit-- a situation that could be avoided if people made the decision to cut back on their habit.