Dietary Tales Teeth Tell, Then And Now

Dentist Blog

Your teeth are a living record of all the food and drink you consume each day. A poor diet can lead to tooth decay and deterioration, but even nutritious meals leave behind a permanent record on your teeth. Food residue left in teeth enamel can be detected in teeth years after the meal was eaten. In fact, some types of food leave a record so long lasting that researchers are able to infer details of ancient hominid diets from teeth fossils dating to around 3.5 million years ago.

Scientists are studying the teeth enamel to determine when hominid diets shifted from being mainly fruit-based to a meal plan that included grasses and flowering plants. This is interesting to scientists because it shows a break between hominid and ape dietary choices, and it may help them to understand what led to the differences between the two species.

Learning From History

In comparison to an ancient hominid's diet, a modern diet includes much more variety, but it also contains many types of foods that break down into sugar. If enamel is worn down, it can lead to accelerated tooth decay. While family history and other uncontrollable factors may contribute to poor dental health, a person's dietary choices are also a factor.

Scientists were able to study the plant material left behind on fossilized teeth by examining the traces of carbon left by plant matter. A person's teeth, however, can give hints to the state of their dental health through visible damage and staining. 

The first step to leaving a positive record on your teeth is to eat nutritiously. Following the lead of the ancient hominids, try to choose vegetables over fruit. It is generally best to avoid fruit juice as well, as it contains a large amount of sugar. Too much sugar in your diet can show up visibly on teeth in the form of unattractive white spots. Unfortunately, these white spots are not easily removed.

Repairing the Record

Unlike the hominids from millions of years ago, modern day humans can visit the dentist to maintain teeth health and reverse issues caused by aging and decay. For example, bonding procedures can repair discoloration issues that cannot be corrected with whitening, and veneers can be placed over front teeth for a full smile makeover. To start the repair process, make an appointment at your local dental center and ask a dentist how they can help you improve your teeth.

For more information, contact Scott A. Wright, DDS or a similar dental professional.


10 December 2014

Loving Your Smile

Do you remember the last time you looked at your smile and really loved what you saw? A few years ago I started spending more time analyzing my appearance, and I noticed that my teeth were seriously lacking. I knew that I had to do something to improve the situation, so I began focusing on loving my smile by getting some work done. I started talking with a dentist about how he could help, and it was really incredible to see the simple difference that he was able to make. Within a few years, my smile looked and felt completely different, and I was really pleased with the results. Check out this blog for great information on making your smile more beautiful.