5

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Cranial facial structure defects due to poor diet?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 15, 2010 at 4:38 PM

The famous Weston Price long ago did a study of 'primitive' people, noting their facial structure seemed different on their native diets than if they had been switched to more modern diets. Synopsis here: http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/traditional/12/ From a logical perspective, it makes sense to me that humans were not designed to have crowded teeth and cavities. Such would not have been selected for by nature! Over the years, I have often heard it mentioned that there is a trend towards narrowing of the jaws in modern man which is causing tooth problems, but never is an explanation given for why! Does anyone know of any other research on this? Or have any further info? I have also seen that some few dentists have now developed devices to widen jaws to solve tooth problems. Photos I have seen of before and after pictures show that the procedure also results in a less 'weak' jaw and nicer appearing jaw line profile. But these are of course all pictures given by those attempting to sell a product, and thus must be considered with caution.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 09, 2011
at 01:37 AM

I was born with congenital midline sinus of the glabella (basically a small opening at the bridge of my nose, leading to my sinus cavities). Now I'm wondering if this (and my ensuing allergic response) has something to do with epigenetics. I know my mom ate poorly (low fat, artificial sweeteners etc.) in the late 70s/early 80s before and during her pregnancy with me.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 17, 2010
at 12:43 AM

The dentists are saying it has to do with a proper U shape to the arches instead of the caved in shape that leads to a narrower face in general. If the arches are widened mechanically, what you get is a wider face, but not longer. Looks like also, it can mean a more prominant chin. Not to say length of face is irrelevant, but seems like for the particular issue of malocclusion, it's width/arch shape that matters. Wider is better. and Of course, if your teeth are smaller, you can get by with less wide.

828429fe885f42968c0519d5b84cec40

(608)

on October 17, 2010
at 12:08 AM

I agree and disagree. Yes, wider faces may be able to fit more teeth, but a longer face, if shaped properly through good nutrition should also have no problems. Note the guy on the right has perfect teeth but also a long face. http://www.tartanplace.com/tartanillus/Price/Picture1.GIF You can also see an example here of me on the left, although my face is not super wide my teeth had more than enough room to fit http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs126.snc1/5411_127366226997_664906997_3473759_2467150_n.jpg So I believe it is more than width but also shape and size of mandible.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 16, 2010
at 06:15 AM

Exactly, but neolithic people had horrible teeth from chewing food with grit from the grindstones used to process it plus caries fed by the carb-based diet. Hmm... A lot of that facial framework is laid down in childhood, though. Don't know if these other problems would have as much influence at that age.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 16, 2010
at 05:56 AM

Good point. Stephan's links (on first post) discuss that on one of the later segments. Looks like there is good evidence that this is likely part of, but not all of it. Part of the prob is that traditional foods tend to be tougher foods as well, so it's hard to tease out one factor from the other.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 10:18 PM

My face is midwidth. My wisdom teeth managed to squish their way in, but it was a close call and one of them is a bit sideways. The dentist recently wanted to pull all 4 teeth 'just in case' but I nixed the plan. They are already in and I see no reason to pay a bunch of money to pull out 4 perfectly functioning teeth sheesh! Anyway, this is not to say that it's impossible fit all teeth in a narrower jaw, only that a narrower jaw is much less likely to fit all teeth.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 10:14 PM

Yeah, Weston Price saw rapid degeneration in a single generation. I have also seen some people mention rapid improvements in just a few years in kids that were still growing, simply by drastically changing diet. I did also see the thing on Pottinger's cats that showed 3 generations of development in CATS. Not sure if it would take 3 generations for them to recover though. Let's hope not.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 15, 2010
at 08:22 PM

Rachel, I'm intrigued by the epigenetic concerns here. Where did you get the "three generations" estimate?

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on October 15, 2010
at 08:01 PM

Oh yes! this is a big ball of string, lots is interconnected! Crowded/constricted jaw, sinus, eye sockets, poor diet = mouth breathing, poor eyesight, crooked tooth, crowded mouth humans! Which is certainly NOT how we evolved to be.

95f407502f92a7bc460e8f83652341de

(288)

on October 15, 2010
at 07:26 PM

I think the estimate is three generations of proper animal flesh based nutrition before structural changes are seen. I hope that isn't true! My kid have the same facial structure, but their teeth are much healthier and some what roomier than mine ever were. May their children all have large jaws!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:46 PM

Looks like those on natural diets have a wider face allowing for more space inside the mouth and larger sinuses. This allows all teeth including all molars and wisdom teeth to fit properly and the larger sinus cavities apparently allow for fewer problems with sinus infections and breathing.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:02 PM

Oops, you posted your message at the same time I posted mine. I want to make sure I have a chunk of time to concentrate before I dig into all the links, but now I will add hip development to my search list.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:00 PM

Hehe, yeah, it was a bit of a mental shock to me as well when I first heard about it. Seems like so many things that 'everybody knows' are turning out to be totally wrong that I am getting to where I have to question everything. And that takes a lot of internet time! But it was still a bit disconcerting to think that SAD may have actually caused me to have a malformed face! THe more I find out, the more unpleasantness comes out. No wonder so many people choose to live in ignorance!

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 15, 2010
at 05:50 PM

I should add that another angle to examine is poor hip development in modern women, due to poor nutrition -- which can lead to difficult and dangerous labor.

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8 Answers

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7
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 15, 2010
at 05:48 PM

Stephan did a nice series a while ago. Very readable with a ton of info. If I recall correctly, the main point was that the mother's nutrition and early childhood nutrition can have a dramatic effect on cranial, facial, and jaw development. [Edit: "mother's nutrition" includes nutrition prior to conception of the fetus, I think -- not just during pregnancy or lactation. But, it's been a while since I've read these.] He focused on vitamin K2 as a key player, but of course a diet low in sugar, grains, etc. also plays a big role.

I have to admit that when I first read these posts, I was a bit skeptical. Everybody knows that wisdom teeth are vestigial maladaptations, right? Hahaha. Stephan's writing and impeccable research skills convinced me otherwise, but it was one of those cognitive dissonance things that took me a while to wrap my head around.

I just wish I had known this stuff earlier. If I ever have kids, I hope they turn out to have large jaws and wide nostrils. I guess wide nostrils aren't considered attractive, but too bad, kids. We'll save money on braces!

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 15, 2010
at 05:50 PM

I should add that another angle to examine is poor hip development in modern women, due to poor nutrition -- which can lead to difficult and dangerous labor.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 10:14 PM

Yeah, Weston Price saw rapid degeneration in a single generation. I have also seen some people mention rapid improvements in just a few years in kids that were still growing, simply by drastically changing diet. I did also see the thing on Pottinger's cats that showed 3 generations of development in CATS. Not sure if it would take 3 generations for them to recover though. Let's hope not.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 15, 2010
at 08:22 PM

Rachel, I'm intrigued by the epigenetic concerns here. Where did you get the "three generations" estimate?

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on October 15, 2010
at 08:01 PM

Oh yes! this is a big ball of string, lots is interconnected! Crowded/constricted jaw, sinus, eye sockets, poor diet = mouth breathing, poor eyesight, crooked tooth, crowded mouth humans! Which is certainly NOT how we evolved to be.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:00 PM

Hehe, yeah, it was a bit of a mental shock to me as well when I first heard about it. Seems like so many things that 'everybody knows' are turning out to be totally wrong that I am getting to where I have to question everything. And that takes a lot of internet time! But it was still a bit disconcerting to think that SAD may have actually caused me to have a malformed face! THe more I find out, the more unpleasantness comes out. No wonder so many people choose to live in ignorance!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:02 PM

Oops, you posted your message at the same time I posted mine. I want to make sure I have a chunk of time to concentrate before I dig into all the links, but now I will add hip development to my search list.

95f407502f92a7bc460e8f83652341de

(288)

on October 15, 2010
at 07:26 PM

I think the estimate is three generations of proper animal flesh based nutrition before structural changes are seen. I hope that isn't true! My kid have the same facial structure, but their teeth are much healthier and some what roomier than mine ever were. May their children all have large jaws!

2
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 16, 2010
at 05:23 AM

I've read that bone bulks up in response to stress applied by the attached muscles. I wonder if people were eating tougher foods, chewing leather to soften it, cracking nuts and bones with their jaws, would their musculature and bone structure change to a more healthy-looking standard?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 16, 2010
at 05:56 AM

Good point. Stephan's links (on first post) discuss that on one of the later segments. Looks like there is good evidence that this is likely part of, but not all of it. Part of the prob is that traditional foods tend to be tougher foods as well, so it's hard to tease out one factor from the other.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 16, 2010
at 06:15 AM

Exactly, but neolithic people had horrible teeth from chewing food with grit from the grindstones used to process it plus caries fed by the carb-based diet. Hmm... A lot of that facial framework is laid down in childhood, though. Don't know if these other problems would have as much influence at that age.

2
95f407502f92a7bc460e8f83652341de

on October 15, 2010
at 07:24 PM

I grew up in the mtns of Tennessee and now live in rural N. Ga. There is a distinct narrowness of face and lack of chin in the poor that have been living here, some what starved for proper nutrients, for generations. I look at my own family and see it. Proof enough for me, though I have never doubted W.A. Price's work.

1
Ff5e86ffb129939355ab6f3c8e85ba1c

on August 03, 2012
at 01:32 PM

I am presenting next Sat AM at the AHS in Harvard on this very subject. I've put up a few post trying to test the water on what angle to approach this on. As a UK orthodontist I am coming from a very different group and after presenting last year and seeing the responses I wanted to ask for your opinions on something prior to the presentation. It is only 20min long which does not give me time to fully build the foundations for what will I hope answer the questions that you propose here. I want to avoid saying something that I could support given more time but which jars the audience and they them lose the thread and confidence in what I am saying.

First to describe what we are talking about; Price described this as the physical degeneration of the face; the point is that faces are getting longer in modern society. If you only have so much face as it becomes longer it becomes thinner and shorter. This lead to narrow jaws high palates, a lack of space for the wisdom teeth, crowded lower front teeth, difficulty passing air through the nasal passages, problems opening the eustation tube (and aerating the inner ear).

The presentation that I will give, argues that Western Price took a wrong turn when looking for the cause of the problem, he suggested that it was due to a ???prenatal injury??? from a lack of Vitamin A and D. The observed that when a ???white man???s shop??? (very un PC) opened in an area the faces then lengthened. However this may have been due to the fact that the concentrated calories available from processed carbs meant that they were then eating small amounts of a soft diet decreasing the mechanical loading by a factor of 20 or more. In addition to this the level of allergies has increased dramatically. If your nose is blocked you have to breathe through your mouth lowering your tongue, which soon becomes a habit however you breathe afterwards.

Anyone who has a low tongue posture and lower muscle tone (in the jaw closing muscles) will progressively suffer from longer faces or physical degeneration of the face. Faces that are not the right shape do not function as well, and there are a host of other suspected symptoms of this problem. Unfortunately the orthodontic solution of pushing the teeth into alignment after removing any excess and holding them there indefinitely afterwards may actually be lengthening faces, which would be worsening the underlying problem while treating symptoms (poor medicine).

To anyone who has a spare 5 min, I would really appreciate a critical appraisal, which some suggestions of where this is unclear and where I should give support to the argument? Thank you very much,

Mike Mew

PS my grandfather (an orthodontist) gave my father (an orthodontist) a first edition of Prices book, long since lost

1
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on January 09, 2011
at 02:03 AM

I have a celiac gene (HLA-DQ2). When I was an infant I had a horrible rash/reaction to formula. The doctor suggested celiac (amazing as it was 1972). Mom tried a soy-based formula for awhile. Eventually the rash went away. It would be over thirty years before I revisited that celiac diagnosis.

I have had unending problems with my teeth. All my life and continuing to today. Even after braces, they kept pushing inward. Had two supernumerary teeth removed as a teenager. I have one tooth that's pretty much behind all the rest of 'em. Dentist is going to pull it at my next appointment.

I'm convinced that there's a connection, but it's not based on anything more than WAP and my own experience.

1
Fe6d4936810372189c6ee50d8a532ed2

on January 09, 2011
at 01:28 AM

One very probable reason is allergies. In development, form and function go hand in hand. A child with allergies will most likely breath through their mouth (since their nose is clogged). This will prevent the palate from developing a broad shape that is usually molded by the tongue. A narrow palate leads to a narrow arch, crowded teeth and a long narrow face.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 09, 2011
at 01:37 AM

I was born with congenital midline sinus of the glabella (basically a small opening at the bridge of my nose, leading to my sinus cavities). Now I'm wondering if this (and my ensuing allergic response) has something to do with epigenetics. I know my mom ate poorly (low fat, artificial sweeteners etc.) in the late 70s/early 80s before and during her pregnancy with me.

1
828429fe885f42968c0519d5b84cec40

(608)

on October 15, 2010
at 07:02 PM

I've often wondered about this. My mother grew up in Peru eating a diet heavy in meat and vegetables (with the odd potato thrown in there) as did my father. However, i ate a lot of candy as a child and had to have one adult tooth removed. Due to the tooth being yanked out one side of my teeth is a bit more spaced out than the other. However, none of my teeth were ever crowded and I had enough room for my wisdom teeth to grow in. If it hadn't been for that damn tooth I would have a perfect smile. My face is oval shaped and not broad, so all your teeth can definitely fit in a narrower face.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 10:18 PM

My face is midwidth. My wisdom teeth managed to squish their way in, but it was a close call and one of them is a bit sideways. The dentist recently wanted to pull all 4 teeth 'just in case' but I nixed the plan. They are already in and I see no reason to pay a bunch of money to pull out 4 perfectly functioning teeth sheesh! Anyway, this is not to say that it's impossible fit all teeth in a narrower jaw, only that a narrower jaw is much less likely to fit all teeth.

828429fe885f42968c0519d5b84cec40

(608)

on October 17, 2010
at 12:08 AM

I agree and disagree. Yes, wider faces may be able to fit more teeth, but a longer face, if shaped properly through good nutrition should also have no problems. Note the guy on the right has perfect teeth but also a long face. http://www.tartanplace.com/tartanillus/Price/Picture1.GIF You can also see an example here of me on the left, although my face is not super wide my teeth had more than enough room to fit http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs126.snc1/5411_127366226997_664906997_3473759_2467150_n.jpg So I believe it is more than width but also shape and size of mandible.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 17, 2010
at 12:43 AM

The dentists are saying it has to do with a proper U shape to the arches instead of the caved in shape that leads to a narrower face in general. If the arches are widened mechanically, what you get is a wider face, but not longer. Looks like also, it can mean a more prominant chin. Not to say length of face is irrelevant, but seems like for the particular issue of malocclusion, it's width/arch shape that matters. Wider is better. and Of course, if your teeth are smaller, you can get by with less wide.

1
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:41 PM

Are you talking about long faces? It is an interesting idea that it can be caused by diet and not genetics. Do faces change or do they stay the same? That's what I'm wondering. Most people would say the face you grow into is the one you are stuck with for life.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:46 PM

Looks like those on natural diets have a wider face allowing for more space inside the mouth and larger sinuses. This allows all teeth including all molars and wisdom teeth to fit properly and the larger sinus cavities apparently allow for fewer problems with sinus infections and breathing.

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