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The Evolution of the Tooth

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Uncategorized

The mouth, just like the rest of the human body, is subject to the evolutionary process.

Tracing the changes in dental biology is fascinating, and provides us some insight into the lives of our ancestors.

Wisdom Teeth

Humans have long had wisdom teeth, but the issue of impacted wisdom teeth is a modern phenomenon.

Due to the evolutionary process, human jaws are too short to fit all of our teeth. We no longer need to put extreme amounts of stress on our jaws—we eat mostly soft food as children—so evolution has compensated by giving us shorter jawlines, to the point where we can no longer fit all of our teeth!

Cavities

As our diets have improved, our carbohydrate and sugar consumptions have increased. Carbohydrates provide a place for bacteria to stick onto the tooth. They also provide food to the bacteria. This lead to cavities becoming more prevalent.

Chewing

While humans are the dominant species, this comes at a price.

Our metabolism burns fuel up to ten times faster than animals of comparable sizes. This means that converting food into energy is extremely important. Over time, humans have developed a nearly unique system of chewing as well as a complex arrangement of tooth placement and size—all towards the aim of making digestion more efficient.

Source

Feb
24

Alligators and Dental Science?

Did you know alligators can replace each of their teeth up to 50 times in their life? Humans are unique among vertebrates for being able to replace our teeth only once. But new insights into how alligators replace their teeth may help stimulate the same process in ours. Professor Cheng-Ming Chuong, M.D., Ph.D., has discovered […]

Feb
24

Fruits for Whiter Teeth?

Recently hailed as an inexpensive and organic alternative to teeth whitening, fruit concoctions have arisen as the new way to get those pearly whites. But is there any truth to all these claims? A study at the University of Iowa points to “No”. Associate Professor So Ran Kwon tested homemade strawberry-baking soda mix, over the […]

Feb
16

BPA Exposure Affects Young Teeth

From the moment they erupt in our mouths as children, our teeth play a major part in our lives. As such, it’s essential to care for them well during childhood and continuing into adulthood. In a recent study done with lab rats, it was found that when teeth were exposed to BPA, “there were multiple […]

Oct
28

Wax On vs. Wax Off

If you’ve ever shopped for dental floss – and you really should – you may have noticed that there are two varieties of nylon floss sold: waxed and unwaxed. Although most people prefer the sturdiness of floss coated in wax, many find that the added layer of wax can sometimes be difficult to comfortably fit […]

Oct
23

What Your Bone Type Could Mean For Dental Implant Treatment

“It depends.” That’s probably an answer you will often hear if you’re considering getting dental implants. This is because there are so many things to consider when placing a dental implant. One of the many considerations that your dentist needs to take into account before placing a dental implant is what type of bone you […]

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