New Study Links Diet to Orthodontic Problems

Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel, of the University of Kent, recently released her findings in a research project centered on a long debated theory related to orthodontic problems.  The study conducted explored how the soft diet common amongst people in modern industrialized countries, impacts the growth of the jaw in relation to their teeth.  The findings are very interesting and will definitely draw the attention of cosmetic dentists around the globe.

The theory stems from the fact that several societies around the world have shifted from a once hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural subsistence approach.  Dr. von Cramon-Taubadel studied eleven different populations spread out around the world, and found that dietary behaviors did indeed influence the shape of the lower jaw.  She found that regardless of where in the world a group resided, one could determine the type of diet consumed by the population simply by studying their lower jaw.

In a recent Science Daily article, (“Jaw Size Linked to Diet: Could Too Soft a Diet Cause Lower Jaw to Stay Too Short and Cause Orthodontic Problems?”) the researcher described the differences between the two main categories studied.  The lower jaw of a hunter-gatherer was typically longer and narrower, allowing more room for teeth to grow in correctly.  On the other hand, the jaws of the agriculturalists were generally broader and shorter, increasing the probability of orthodontic problems.  Seeing as our population here in the United States is very much agricultural, it’s safe to say we’ll have plenty of oral issues to keep our dentists busy!

Written by Mark Paulsort

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