Tag Archives: malocclusion

More Evidence That Modern Diets Are Bad For Our Teeth

Australian Aborigine in Swamp Darwin

Australian Aborigine in Swamp Darwin

Phys.org has an article on dental changes associated with the transition from hunter-gatherer cultures to less mobile agricultural ones. The transition occured 10,000 to 12,000 years ago at the end of the Paleolithic period. Some quotes:

“Our findings show that the hunter gatherer populations have an almost “perfect harmony” between their lower jaws and teeth,” he explains. “But this harmony begins to fade when you examine the lower jaws and teeth of the earliest farmers”.

*   *   *

The diet of the hunter-gatherer was based on “hard” foods like wild uncooked vegetables and meat, while the staple diet of the sedentary farmer is based on “soft” cooked or processed foods like cereals and legumes. With soft cooked foods there is less of a requirement for chewing which in turn lessens the size of the jaws but without a corresponding reduction in the dimensions of the teeth, there is no adequate space in the jaws and this often results in malocclusion and dental crowding.

You can read the original research report in PLOS One.

Steve Parker, M.D.

h/t Diet Doctor Eenfeldt

This bedrock metate was used by Indians (aka Native Americans) for grinding maize, acorns, and other foods

This bedrock metate was used by Indians (aka Native Americans) for grinding maize, acorns, and other foods. Rainwater fills this 4-inch deep rounded depression in granite about 10 miles from my house.

Paleo Orthodontics: Dr. Mike Mew

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Orthodontist Mike Mew, BDS, MSc, did a presentation at Ancestral Health Symposium-2012 titled “Craniofacial Dystrophy—Modern Melting Faces.” Don’t let the title scare you off.

He says 30% of folks in Western populations have crooked teeth and/or malocclusion, and the mainstream orthodontic community doesn’t know why.  But they’ve got treatment for it!  Dr. Mew thinks he knows the cause and he shared it at the AHS-2012.  The  simple cure is “Teeth together.  Lips together.  Tongue on the roof of your mouth.”  And eat hard food.  Ideally in childhood before age 9.  Older people also benefit, he says.

I have no idea whether Dr. Mew is right or not.

I couldn’t get the video embedded here.  You can see it at The Paleo Periodical.

h/t PaleoPeriodical

If Teeth Are So Important For Survival…

…why do modern cultures have so many dental problems?

An oldie but goodie from Dr. Stephan Guyenet:

Our ancestors had straight teeth, and their wisdom teeth came in without any problem. The same continues to be true of a few non-industrial cultures today, but it’s becoming rare. Wild animals also rarely suffer from orthodontic problems.

Today, the majority of people in the US and other affluent nations have some type of malocclusion, whether it’s crooked teeth, overbite, open bite or a number of other possibilities.

Read the rest.

I rarely hear dentists or orthodontists talk about these ideas.  Wonder why.