Evolutionary Tooth Decay

Dentists have been around for thousands of years, presumably one of the oldest professions. They are also the most questioned and the most avoided by people because of their grueling and painful procedures. Well not really anymore; one quick tingly shot and you feel virtually nothing during a root canal or a filling of a tooth. However, if we floss daily and brush twice a day then we can avoid dentists altogether, or so I have been informed. There is also the saying that goes: an apple a day keeps the dentist away, supposedly by the exercise it causes for the jaw during the chewing motion and for the natural sugar substitute over candy. But could the crunchy apples also be better for your teeth than the mushy apples? Could it be that our comfort foods such as mashed potatoes and gravy drowned meatloaf (mmmm… meatloaf) are the cause of our teeth slowly decaying over time?

According to a new study, our light and mushy food may be causing a higher wear and tear on our teeth than our prehistoric counterparts’ diets! The study finds that through testing different artificially created teeth, food that is crunchier, like nuts, grains, and seeds, actually causes less stress on our molars, causing a lighter load on the teeth than softer foods. Does this have anything to do with our ancestors and how their diets were composed of raw foods and crunchy nuts?

The morphology of the crown might have been selected to maintain chewing efficiency throughout the life of the individual as the tooth wear increases

If our teeth evolved to complement harder foods, then by using them less on harder food and more on softer mushy food (yes the mushy-ness is beginning to gross me out too) have we perhaps doomed ourselves to an evolutionary decay in our teeth?

Ironically, it seems the lack of physiological wear may in fact lead to pathological conditions

Oh well, at least I can still eat my spinach salads with nuts to offset the, yes here it is again, mushy-ness of the spinach with a nice added salty CRUNCH! 

 

Research:

Evolutionary Paradox of Tooth Wear

Wondergressive: Dentistry

Wondergressive: Obese? Fatty Liver?

Teeth

Homer Simpson says

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