Romans Had Less Periodontal Disease than Modern Society

A recent study of Roman skulls at the Natural History Museum in London was led by a periodontist from King’s College London. In the examination of 303 skulls, they found that the Romans had far less gum disease than we have today.

The Roman skulls were from a population that lived in England between 200 and 400 AD. They all came from a burial ground in Poundbury, Dorset and had a variety of lifestyles, from those living in the countryside to the urban population, which is comparable to modern day European populations. These Roman’s life expectancy was sometime in their 40’s and the most common cause of death was most likely infectious diseases.

According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40% of Americans over the age of 30 have moderate to severe gum disease. The Roman skulls examined showed only about 5% had moderate to severe gum disease, although they also showed signs of infections, abscesses, and about half had tooth decay.

What is causing the Increase in Gum Disease?

Gum disease occurs when the gums become inflamed in response to the build-up of dental plaque. Some of the common symptoms are: gum redness, bleeding gums after brushing or flossing, gum recession, loose or missing teeth, mouth sores, and chronic bad breath. While many people live with gingivitis and mild gum disease, modern habits like smoking and medical conditions like diabetes can lead to severe progression in gum disease. These Romans lived in a non-smoking environment and likely had low levels of diabetes mellitus. Research shows that in 2012 about 9.3% of American adults had diabetes, which was a 1% increase from 2010, and about 18% of American adults smoke.

The researchers at King’s College were very surprised by their findings especially since the Romans did not use toothbrushes or go to dentists or periodontists. Theya Molleson, co-author of the study, believes that this is a sign that gum disease can be avoided and that as smoking declines in the population, there should also be a decline in those with moderate to severe gum disease.

Who Can Treat Gum Disease?

If you are showing signs of gum disease, it’s important that you visit your Los Angeles Periodontists right away. Periodontists are specially qualified to not only treat gum disease, but to also restore the appearance of your teeth and gums. Periodontists specialize in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease, treat oral inflammation, and place dental implants.

Make an Appointment with Los Angeles Periodontists today!

Gum disease can cause many problems not only to your teeth and gums, but it can also affect other parts of your body as well. If you are showing signs of gum disease or have a family history of gum disease, make an appointment today with Dr. Alexandre-Amir Aalam and Dr. Alina Krivitsky by calling (310) 299-8329 or by making an appointment online. They are the only two board-certified periodontists in the Brentwood area and have years of experience in treating mild to difficult periodontal cases.