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The toll of shrinking jaws on human health

Picture of a jaw x-ray
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Jul 22 2020

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Research, Faculty

A new study published July 22 in BioScience, marshals the growing evidence from studies conducted around the world surrounding the jaws epidemic, as well as how to address it proactively. Parents and caregivers can take steps to promote proper mouth, jawbone and facial musculature development in children, the study advises, to help stave off future health burdens and chronic conditions. Stanford researchers and colleagues argue that all these issues and more are actually relatively new problems afflicting modern humans and can be traced to a shrinking of our jaws. The new study builds upon a book Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies, Emeritus, co-wrote with orthodontist and lead study author Sandra Kahn entitled Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic, published by Stanford University Press in 2018. Two other Stanford researchers, Robert Sapolsky and Marcus Feldman, have contributed their expertise to the study.