the aim of this paper is to contribute, from a bioarchaeological perspective, to the discussion about the model of economic intensification and diet broadening of hunter-gatherer populations in northeastern patagonia previously proposed by different authors. the underlying presuposition is that such process would have detectable effects in the intra-and interpopulational distribution of health and oral function indicators. to test this proposition, we analyzed temporal trends in the prevalence of different dental and periodontal relevant indicators (caries, abscesses and loss of antemortem teeth, periodontitis, tilting and lipping) in a collection formed by three diachronic subsamples of skulls from the río negro valley covering the last 3.600 years ab 14c. the results show that the prevalence of caries, periodontal disease and lipping tend to increase over time, while those of antemortem tooth loss, abscesses and tilting decrease. taken together, these temporal trends are consistent with the hypothesis of increased consumption of plant resources, particularly those with cariogenic potential (i.e. high starches content), after 1.000 ab.