By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles
Sure!! No way! Really? So just think about it. We have jaws full of teeth from Neanderthal Man, and from Cro-Magnon Man, and countless other pre-historic cultures. Perfect teeth with no cavities that are thousands of years old. So ... Why does modern man suffer cavities that destroy teeth in a matter of a few years? Why, as a children's dentist, do I see teeth totally destroyed, disintegrated, in as little as 2 years?
Are you aware that cavities were not an issue for the average man until about 250 to 300 years ago? Towns and villages didn't need a dentist because average folks didn't get cavities. Interesting?
But wait. There are archeological findings of jewels being used to fill cavities in king's and pharaoh's teeth. Indeed. Pharaohs had cavities and they had a dentist in the royal court. And why? Because they also had the money to import sugar with their spice. So pharaohs and kings paid the price for their indulgences, both financially and in the discomfort of dental disease and the rudimentary level of dental science. Ouch!
So, a few hundred years ago world shipping technology and capacity made sugar easily available in the commercial world and the price came down. Common citizens could afford the sugar and white flour that previously was available only to the elite class. Alas! Cavities arrived as a scourge for the average person. The profession of dentistry for the whole "civilized" population emerged.
An interesting story today. In the spring 2013 I was in Argentina doing volunteer dental work in a remote area. When we arrived we did dental work for the people in the town that held the Catholic Mission, our host. In 2 days, along with the many fillings we did, we removed nearly 200 abscessed teeth. The next few days we traveled to remote church sites an hour away on dirt roads. There we did mostly small conservative fillings, very few extractions and scores of examinations for people with beautiful smiles and no cavities. The difference? The town folk have easy access to sweets, refined foods and sweet beverages. The folk at the remote areas ate the foods they grew themselves! REAL FOOD. REAL TEETH. NO CAVITIES!
Are you aware? Average USA per capita consumption of sugar, sucrose and fructose (not including honey, maple syrup), rose 160% from 1967 to 2007. Is it any wonder the declining cavity rate of the mid 20th century changed dramatically and by the mid 1980's was rising drastically? The rate of cavities per child has risen 30% every 10 years for the last 30 years. It is still rising at this alarming rate.
Are you willing to look at what you are doing for dental health? Would you like your child's teeth to be perfect for several thousand years? I have no cavities thanks to good diet and habit guidance by my parents. I have 3 children and a grand child with no cavities. Make a healthy choice for your children.