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Crooked Teeth? Blame our farming ancestors.

When humans turned from hunting and gathering to farming approximately 10,100 years ago, they set our species on a road of genetic variation that led from longer, sturdier mandibular structures to shorter jaws better suited to chewing softer food. As a result, tooth overcrowding-and orthodontia-are now one of the hallmarks of civilization.

According to a study done by researcher Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel, PhD, an anthropologist a the University of Kent in UK, global variations in jaw structure, in contrast to skull shape and facial features, are not attributable solely to genetic shift, but to a limited kind of natural selection. He looked at skull and jaw shape in 11 populations, six of which live by farming and five of which are hunter-gatherers. The populations included people from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas.

von Cramon-Taubadel concluded that the transition to farming-and easier-to-chew food led to smaller, less-robust jaw structures and , according to the study abstract, "to increased prevalence of dental crowding and malocclusions in modern postindustrial populations."

Journal of the California Dental Association, March 2012.

3 Comments to Crooked Teeth? Blame our farming ancestors.:

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Irritrol Calgary on Monday, December 24, 2012 4:59 AM
Thanks for sharing knowledge regarding to the history of modern-day farming. However, in some rural parts of Africa and Asia people are still unaware of irrigation and other latest technology.
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Matthews on Monday, April 30, 2018 10:43 AM
I absolutely loved everything about this post, you are very talented in terms of writing and know how to make it sound interesting. Looking forward to seeing more great posts from you soon.
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lin on Monday, July 09, 2018 12:27 AM
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