The Black Death killed many people in Europe in the 14th century. Now, new research suggests that this plague may have changed the bacteria in our mouths and led to modern diseases like obesity and heart disease. Researchers looked at bacteria in the mouths of people who lived a long time ago by examining plaque on teeth. They found that the bacteria in people’s mouths changed after the Black Death. People who survived the plague had more money and as a result, they ate different foods that changed the bacteria in their mouths. The bacteria that grew after the plague can cause gum disease, which can lead to other health problems like heart disease and diabetes. This is important for understanding and managing these modern diseases. The researchers also said that it is bad to ask Indigenous communities to take part in this type of research just because they live a traditional lifestyle. The research has been supported by the Australian Research Council, National Science Foundation, and Penn State. The findings have been published in the journal Nature Microbiology.
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