How much of our facial structure is actually determined by our genes? Its very common to hear new parents talk about how similar their child looks to either their father or their mother, while aspects like height, complexion, the color of the eyes are determined by our gene, Does the same apply for our facial bone structure and teeth? For centuries it was popularly believed that the straightness and the crookedness of our teeth is determined by our genes but according to Dr. Kevin Boyd it has a lot to do with the food we consume. According to a study by Dr. Kevin Boyd, a Pediatric dentist from Chicago, USA, there is a direct link between the numerous dental diseases, including crooked teeth and the food consumed in modern urban lifestyle.
Dr. Kevin Boyd states that “dental caries (cavities) and malocclusions (misaligned or crooked teeth), while are highly prevalent public health disease, are both surprisingly rare within the pre-industrial skeletal and pre-historic fossil records, and also seldom seen in many present-day non westernized cultures” to support his theory Dr. Boyd back it up with a research done in1932 by Dr. Weston Price from where he travelled the world examining the oral health of both civilized groups living on modern food and isolated groups living on native diets, he further went on to publishing a book called “Nutrition and physical degeneration” in which he talks about how people with similar genes in modern diet have crooked teeth and in the same study it has been observed that people who live on a more native diet or pre-industrial diet have extremely low cases of malocclusion when compared. Pre-industrial food is unprocessed and not over-cooked, making it tough to chew, they consume low calorie plant food along with raw and cooked meat. However, the modern foods are high on calories and overcooked making it soft and mushy and requires far less chewing effort, which over time leads to under-developed crooked teeth, weaker jaw and less prominent facial structure.
Source- “Nutrition and physical degeneration” by Dr. Weston Price, on the left are people from isolated groups consuming non-westernized food, it is observed that malocclusion is extremely rare in this group. On the right is a group of people on a modern diet, it has been observed that malocclusion in this group is common and according to a study 2/3rd of civilized groups have malocclusion.