The soft modern diet may be the culprit regarding orthodontic problems.
The jaws of many people grow too short in proportion to the size of teeth, according a study done by the United Kingdom’s University of Kent.
The research analyzed the theory involving the transformation of humans going from hunter-gatherers to many communities now based on agriculture and the impact this had on the way the jaw and skull developed. To find this information, the shapes of 11 craniums and mandibles were analyzed. The people came from a variety of different places with a variety of backgrounds.
The information indicated that the lower jaw shape was based on the person’s diet, whereas the cranium shape was based on genetics. The lower jaw shape was found to be based solely on whether the population is a hunter-gatherer group or agricultural group. The inference is that chewing behavior influences the lower jaw but the skull is not impacted in the same fashion.
The communities that fit into the hunter-gatherer category generally had a longer and narrower mandible. The agriculturalist group basically had shorter and broader mandibles.
The study concluded that the jaw was the only part of the face impacted by environmental factors. Everything else about the way a person’s face looks is based on genetics.