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  • Angela Murphy, RDH

Why Our Ancestors Had Healthy Mouths Without Flossing


Our primal ancestors generally had healthy mouths. How could that be? They never brushed their teeth with commercial chemical toothpastes, never flossed with manufactured cotton string and never went to their neighborhood dental cave to get fluoride treatments.



But, our primal ancestors also had different eating habits, including the following:

  • They didn't eat junk foods, processed food or chemical additives.

  • They consumed a high percentage of animal protein and animal fat.

  • They occasionally ate low to moderate amounts of healthy carbohydrates

Basically, our primal ancestors ate a healthy diet. Their diet was the main factor that created a balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, a healthy gut lining, and a balance of healthy bacteria in the mouth.


A diet that eliminates free sugars and processed grains and includes healthy foods can reduce the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Therefore, a healthy diet can maintain dental plaque in a healthy state.

  • Dental decay is diet mediated.

  • Free sugars are primary and necessary factors to develop dental decay.

  • Acid-producing bacteria and other factors facilitate the development of decay, but free sugars are required.

  • Processed food starches possess very low decay potential

Free sugars are the primary and necessary factors in the development of dental decay.


If you are experiencing issues with your dental health, look at your diet first and then at other environmental factors. The takeaway is that we can mimic the ancestral way of eating as well as avoid toxic elements to maintain our gut and dental health.