Prehistoric Problem: The Ancient Origins of Your Crooked Teeth

Close up of crooked teeth

According to a survey, 28 percent of people don’t smile when they’re photographed because they don’t like the way their teeth look. You can easily solve issues like forgetting to brush their teeth or mild discoloration. But if your teeth are crooked, it’s going to take a lot more than an afternoon at a dentist to solve your problem.

What makes teeth to go astray? There are several mundane ways for your teeth to go crooked, but scientists have theorized an unlikely cause for your crooked teeth.

Normal Causes for Crooked Teeth

There are different ways you can develop crooked teeth. Facial injuries from incidents like car crashes or falls can jostle your pearly whites out of place and even shatter them. If you’re unable to receive regular dental care or have poor oral hygiene practices, you could develop issues, such as cavities and gum diseases, that could also lead to crooked teeth.

Children are especially susceptible to crooked teeth if they don’t have a diet that provides them with adequate nutrition. Without a steady flow of nutrients like calcium, children get tooth decay and suffer from poor dental development.

Your behavior as an infant or toddler is also a factor to your teeth staying on the straight and narrow. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, excessive thumb-sucking and pacifier use can cause a child’s teeth to develop awkwardly. These behaviors push teeth outward and create gaps, and even crooked teeth. You can solve all these problems by visiting a clinic that uses a dental lab with orthodontic services.

While orthodontists are busy correcting America’s crooked teeth, researchers were busy uncovering the real reason for your crooked teeth.

Prehistoric Problems

Crowding of the teeth of the lower jaw

Research by evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman claims that the crooked teeth that plague people today originates in human society’s advancement. Lieberman examined skulls from different eras, from prehistoric times to the pre-industrial age. He discovered that hunter-gatherer humans had “nearly perfect dental health,” whereas their distant descendants were “a dentist’s nightmare.”

Lieberman claims that human jaws are growing smaller over the centuries, which makes teeth crowd together and eventually become crooked. The reason for humanity’s collective jaw shrinkage is the change in diet brought on by technological advancement. Before developing stone instruments, humans had to rely on strong and large jaws to tear their food apart. The stone tools that prehistoric humans developed millions of years ago helped them chew less intensely by allowing them to cut their meat into smaller bites.

Human societies then developed agriculture, which lessened the need for large powerful jaws even more. As food is made easier to eat, jaws continued to shrink leading to today’s crooked teeth. Although dental experts agree that jaw size is one important factor in developing crooked teeth, whether your ancestors learning how to use stone knives and plant crops are to blame for your unruly teeth remains to be proven.

Until such time, dental services are more than willing to help you regain your confidence in your smile.

About Faye Gonzales 1658 Articles
Meet our chief explorer, Faye Gonzales. With over a decade of travel experience, Faye is not only a passionate globetrotter but also a loving mom who understands the unique needs of family travelers. Her insights into family-friendly destinations and travel tips make her a trusted guide for parents seeking memorable adventures with their children.