The Human Jaw… and how we F*cked it All Up

Back in the Day

Aww, the good ol’ days when the grass was greener and the times were much easier. When your great, great *insert the highest math number you know* grandpa would casually stroll out of his cave for another hunting session with the boys while leaving wifey with yesterday’s leftover mammoth bacon, finally alone to finish knitting her coat from fresh saber-tooth foreskin. In these good ol’ days such everyday goodies that we take for granted now, such as microwaved processed food, electric toothbrushes and protein powders that your local gym aggressively promotes were unimaginable. For gains, our ancestors didn’t need a subscription to Top 10 HIT exercises, and the terms of weight loss and resistance training were just as unheard of as having to make fire with sticks in today’s society. While we have to express our deepest gratitude for today’s technical and societal progress, there has been a noticeable sacrifice incurred to our health and looks as a result.  

Here we go again….

Now hold your horses, I know what you’re thinking! “Aww, another dude just choked on some member-berries ready to give a long-ass speech of how today’s society is screwed, probably something related to social media again… how unoriginal!”  Well, firstly – about social media… wrong website! Secondly, the topic is about our facial shape, including the jawline and its respective muscles. Did you know that prehistoric humans had little to no crooked teeth and their teeth health, in general, was much better than nowadays? Furthermore, their jaws were broader featuring also stronger bites. Sounds weird, huh? But how is that possible? The maxilla a.k.a. the bone of your upper mouth can develop late into adult life, which is why archeologists dig up specifically human skull remains to assess the body’s lifestyle and overall health during its lifetime. And as a matter of fact, our jaws and teeth have been pretty darn healthy up until the industrial revolution or the 18th-19th century for you none history buffs. 

Legit, bruh? 

I know what you must be thinking! “I wonder what the author must be on to come up with this… unless he has some fancy title or something, everything here must be pure bullsh*t or facts without context”. Don’t worry about that! I’d also be pretty skeptical, that’s why I’d recommend to check out “Nutrition and Physical Degradation” by American dentist Weston Price. Back in 1939, the dentist did a study, where he traveled around different parts of the world to compare different communities in the same country. Only to find stark differences. Living not far from each other there are communities that live a completely modern lifestyle including eating habits  (for the time). And relatively close-by were communities from the same gene-pool and country, where women don’t wear bras and guys have never heard about dirty magazines. In all of the sampled cases be it amongst Eskimos in Alaska, tribes in the Belgian Congo or rural Switzerland, there was a consistent difference between the societies which have stuck to their traditional eating habits as opposed to the 1st generation adopters. The more native in their lifestyle was a community, the noticeably healthier and more straight were their teeth with more profound jawlines compared to the urban dwellers. 

So, what is this getting at? 

This is mostly because with the modern way of life we have lost the way… and have not been chewing the way our jaw has been intended to! The processed, soft and less-chewy foods result in softer bites, which makes our jaws and, hence, jawlines weaker and softer because there is no need to maintain as strong jaws as our ancestors did who would bite off raw flesh from mammoth armpits. You could say that this is like a reverse-evolution, as our bodies adapt to needing less. Of course, jaw muscle deterioration is not solely to blame, as a crucial role in the looks of your face is played by your neck muscles and its posture. Improper tongue posture accompanied by less raw foods and excessive hunchbacking after countless gaming sessions. That is why our heads and jaws do not develop to the same sizes and proportions as they used to. Paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman in his “The evolution of the human head” confirms that the human jaws have noticeably shrunken over time.

Are we f*cked?

So, if upon reading this historical recap, you must start thinking that you’re screwed. Well, don’t worry, it’s not that bad, because now you know! Remember, your frontal face bones can continue developing throughout your lifetime, albeit slower than when you were a teen. And if you are a teen, then good job, your odds are much better!  Either way, just maintain a reasonable lifestyle and routine, keep yourself healthy, exercise, use your jaw and its muscles for stronger foods the way your ancestors did and the hard work will bare the results you want and deserve.

Have an awesome day, CHISELL Out!

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