As if dental caries is not enough, teeth crowding adds to the list of dental problems. The Daily Mail noted that about a third of 12-year-olds in the UK suffer from malocclusion. Whilst heredity, physical trauma and habit are the usual causes, recent studies reveal diet evolution as an unlikely cause.
Diet and malocclusion
Studies reveal that changes in people’s diet brought by evolution may be the cause of malocclusion. Researchers suggest that the shift from hunters to gatherers contributed to overcrowded teeth.
The study of 94 skeletons from Amarna, Egypt revealed that most people in the past have well-aligned teeth. Raw and coarse food affected teeth and jaw development. Since people in the past had to chew and rip apart meat, their mandibular bones in lower jaws grew bigger, stronger and more capable of accommodating all the teeth.
Everything changed during the arrival of sugar in Britain at the start of the 19th century. That, and the rise of highly processed, pre-packaged food, resulted in teeth’s deterioration. As food became softer, people did not have to use much chewing power, which caused jaws to become smaller and teeth more crowded.
The study on the quantity of teeth per person proved the decline of oral health. Humans should have an average of 32 teeth, including wisdom teeth. The Department of Health found that the average number is now only 25.7, however. They further noted that people have to lose more teeth because of lack of space.
Researchers found other contributing factors to bad teeth, such as prolonged breastfeeding in babies and the use of baby bottles and dummies. Consumption of food without nutrients leads to malocclusion, as well.
Solving the problem
Researchers recommend that people with malocclusion undergo orthodontic treatments to prevent dental caries, which is another leading problem in Britain. They further suggest substituting soft and sugary food with tougher meat and coarse grain to build bigger jaws.
Changes to our diet made malocclusion inevitable. Fortunately, evolution allows us to fix what it caused, as well. Milton Keynes Orthodontics has a wide range of dental treatments to restore teeth in their original position. Our services will improve the appearance of your teeth and smile the healthy way. For more information about our treatments, contact orthodontists in Milton Keynes.