Ancestral Orthodontics

© Andresr | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

One of the topics that always comes up what discussing traditional cultures and ancestral diets is orthodontics.  You’ve seen the pictures that Weston A Price made famous of the beautiful traditional faces verses the faces of those that had begun eating the “displacing foods of modern commerce.”  While there are still people who have beautiful facial structure with functional wisdom teeth and space to spare, it’s undeniable that in general, modern facial structure has changed dramatically and facial “deformities” are much more prevalent today.  In fact malocclusions are now considered the norm and most of us expect that our children will need braces.  The exact causes are somewhat debated but the fact is that our faces are growing vertically rather than horizontally.  While the overall length of the mandible hasn’t changed, the arch length differs by 14mm causing crowded front teeth and impacted molars.

Dr. Mike Mew just gave a great lecture here at the Ancestral Health Symposium in which he discussed our “modern melting faces.”  While he acknowledges the important work of Dr. Price, Dr. Mew feels that Price may have had a few things wrong and Mew believes that modern facial deformities are not so much a result of nutritional deficiencies (as Price theorized), but are instead caused by changes in muscle usage, tongue posture and swallowing patterns.