Your skull is shrinking! Okay, not the particular skull you keep your own, personal brain in, but human skulls. This is happening over a remarkably short period of time – only 300 years – and your children are suffering.
Your brain has been shrinking for a longer period, maybe 10,000 to 20,000 years. Partly, this is because our modern body size is less than our ancestors during the last Ice Age. It seems funny, because we Americans are used to thinking of ourselves as taller (and fatter! despite the comment below about body weight) than our ancestors thanks to better public health and food availability. But we’re less robust than Cro-Magnons.
The way we live has generally become less physically demanding, which overall serves to drive down body weights… The fact that we increasingly store and process information externally—in books, computers and online—means that many of us can probably get by with smaller brains. scientificamerican.com
Generally, domestic animals tend to have weaker muscles and smaller brains than their wild relatives. Maybe they don’t require extra brainpower to evade predators or hunt for food. And humans are the most domesticated animal around.
So smaller brains must mean smaller skulls… but it’s much worse than that!
Science suggests that crooked teeth, overbites, narrow jaws, and crimped nasal airways are a modern phenomenon. Skeletal remains show that just 300 years ago, humans commonly displayed straight, perfectly aligned teeth, wide jaws, flat palates and the large nasal passages that signal habitual, healthy breathing. onezero.medium.com
Do you think orthodontists are a small price to pay for modern conveniences?
Our faces have begun to deform. Today, our skulls are marked by high, narrow palates, and short lower jaws.. When children drop their baby teeth, there’s typically inadequate room for the adult teeth, which leads to crowding and misaligned teeth.
Worst of all, this anatomy encourages mouth-breathing, which can, in turn, lead to under-the-radar sleep difficulties and a whole array of problems ranging from behavioral challenges, anxiety, and depression to cognitive issues. onezero.medium.com
If your baby or child snores, it could be a sign of troubles to come.
Jaw pain, headaches, asthma, chronic sleep deprivation, cranky children, wild behavior, failure in school! Gack!! Add all those problems to diabetes and heart disease as the price of modern living.
Why did the shrinking skull start 300 years ago? Here’s what ties it to our modern lifestyle.
Industrialization interrupted the ancestral patterns of weaning and feeding, with babies nursing on demand for years while also trying solid foods under adults’ watchful eyes… The widespread adoption of bottle feeding, pacifiers and soft processed food deprived toddlers of practice chewing and distorted the shapes of their mouths. onezero.medium.com
There are procedures to correct teeth and jaws, and ultimately breathing, and the earlier you start the better the results. “Nose-breathers are always healthier than mouth-breathers.”
Nature and nurture are conspiring against us. To paraphrase an excellent quote, genes are the piano keys and the environment plays the tune. What have we done?