Our jaws are becoming too small. At least, that is what Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies, Emeritus, believes. Working with orthodontist Sandra Kahn, Ehrlich has spent years studying the connection between underdeveloped jaws, modern life and myriad health and quality-of-life issues. This research is the subject of Kahn and Ehrlich’s new book, Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic.
In their book, Kahn and Ehrlich make the case that crooked teeth (and braces) are a modern problem caused primarily by eating soft foods, living in confined spaces with allergens and poor posture, including mouth breathing. The authors declare this an epidemic, linking undersized jaws to increased risk of heart disease, hyperactivity, sleep deprivation and other issues that are endemic to modern life.