Science Friday: Chew Tougher Food to Avoid the Orthodontist?

Science Friday: Chew Tougher Food to Avoid the Orthodontist?Can chewing more beef jerky lead to less visits to the orthodontist for braces? is reporting that new research by Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel of the University of Kent is indicating that many of the common orthodontic problems experienced by people in industrialized nations is due to a soft, modern diet.

Dr. von Cramon-Taubadel tested the long-debated theory that the transition from a largely hunter-gatherer to an agricultural subsistence way of living in many parts of the world causes the jaw to grow too short and small relative to the size of the teeth.

The doctor compared the shape of the skulls and lower jaws of eleven globally distributed populations against models of genetic, geographic, climatic and dietary differences. As reported in ScienceDaily, she found that lower jaw shape was related to the dietary behavior of populations, while the skulls were strongly related to the genetic relationships of the populations.

The lower jaw indicates whether populations are primarily hunter-gatherer or agriculturalist in nature. It is the chewing behavior that causes the lower jaw to grow and develop differently in different subsistence groups, while the skull is not affected in the same way.

Maybe we should be having jerky for breakfast instead of oatmeal?

What are your thoughts?

For more on this story see: Jaw Size Linked to Diet: Could Too Soft a Diet Cause Lower Jaw to Stay Too Short and Cause Orthodontic Problems?

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