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A new study shows that people today have more gum disease than people living 2,000 years ago. The study is the university King's College London and is published the 'British Dental Journal'. Researchers looked the teeth in the skulls 303 people who lived 200-400 AD (2,200-2,400 years ago). The skulls were found at an old burial site in the west England. The researchers found that only 5 per cent the skulls showed signs of gum disease. Up to 30 per cent of people in England today have gum disease. Professor Francis Hughes was surprised what he found. He said people did not have toothbrushes or toothpaste then and did not visit dentists, like we do today.

The main reason why modern people have more gum disease is smoking. Theya Molleson, co-author the report, said the study shows that people's oral health has become much worse the past 2,000 years. She added that she thinks gum disease could start going from now as more people stop smoking. She said: "As smoking declines the population, we should see a decline the [numbers people ] the disease." Gum disease happens when bacteria build in your mouth. The bacteria eat at your gums and can make your teeth fall . People can reduce the risk of gum disease regular brushing, using mouthwash and not smoking.

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