Abstract of the chapter

Caries y periodontal disease: an evolutionary view

José Ignacio Zalba Elizari.

The ancestors of humans dispersed from Africa towards the rest of the continents, with time and adaptation to the environment "have been introduced anatomical, physiological and genetic modifications to the modern man.” Teeth have evolved in parallel to humans, revealing our evolutionary history and are one of the best sources of information for some diseases and lifestyle, because they harbor the traces of thousands of years' evolution. From these tracks we can try to understand the impact of different life-styles in our species have had in the past, and in addition, and compare them with the present situation. Dental pathologies can provide direct evidence of the diet or way of life of humans in the past in order to compare them with the current ones. All this helps us to decipher the origin of dental diseases from an evolutionary perspective and to understand their causes, which serves as a compass, not to leave it to chance, giving a better preventive response to the current epidemic of diseases of the mouth to the allow the teeth survive.