One day, they got a call from some dirt bikers who were riding in the mangroves beaches across the bay that they had found two skeletons partially buried in the mud. As per standard procedures, a police patrol was dispatched to investigate (which included my friend), and also as per SOP, because the area was a known ancient Aboriginal burial ground, they took an anthropologist out with them as part of the investigative team.
When they got to the site and were approaching the two semi exposed skeletons, the anthropologist said (while still a few feet away from them) "Oh, these pre date local colonial settlement and are probably over a hundred years old".
My policeman friend was curious, and asked her how she could tell even from afar that these were not more current remains, and she said "It's the teeth. There is absolutely no sign of decay caused by sugars in modern diets".
He (and I) never realised the extent of damage done to our teeth by what we eat today.
Also, the moisture level in the soil might have changed.
Or the funeral homes got better at selling varnished coffins instead of pine boxes.
- Varnished coffins are usually very thin veneer on top of mainly particle board - the glue is as problematic as any varnish, and add pollution to cremation. US coffins are commonly steel(!) apparently. "Brass" fittings are usually plastic, and not removed before cremation as you might expect.
- Embalming is so much an expected part you're not asked, it's just done. You'd have to already know it's not required and you may ask for no embalming. In former years it was common to have the coffin at home for a few days - with no embalming. Not that long ago either.
- Mind boggling amounts of formaldehyde (and other chemicals) are used by the funeral industry.
Source: Going too far down this rabbit hole and ultimately choosing a natural green funeral for me.
Needless to say once we dug into how it's usually done, we found yet another industry that's become horribly eco unfriendly.
Burn the body in a gas furnace for a few hours and release loads of ugly things. Including all the artificial fibres, coffin glues and plastics, and any fillings, implants etc. Mercury amalgam fillings can get to surrounding animals, even into fish off the coast. From memory something like 20% of uk atmospheric dioxins are from cremation.
If burying, the formaldehyde and other embalming chemicals leech into the ground along with any accumulated toxins in the body, and can prevent proper decomposition for decades or more. Embalming that's completely unnecessary for the timescale of most burials. Mostly those chemicals are ugly, and little studied when put in the ground in scale. Yet are studied when added in small amounts as fire retardants or glues in furniture etc. Then you have the US using steel coffins in concrete lined graves!
It's quite the ugly rabbit hole once you descend and start looking into burial and cremation.
Edit: maybe weigh it down. That would work. And by "it" I mean yourself, I guess.
I think the consensus was that it was suicides or other drowning victims, not some nefarious plot, but people get twitchy.
1. They really are no sugar in aboriginal societies? No fruit or carbs?
2. I know a handful of people who eat Western diets who have zero tooth decay.
Doesn’t seem like a great way to tell the age of a skull.
The confidence of people far away at a different time without any relevant knowledge to dismiss an experienced local on the ground based on flawed high-level logic never ceases to surprise.
Also, people didn’t live as long as they do now. So less chance to have your teeth rotten. Furthermore: the skeletons might have been of people in their twenties with arguably better teeth than old people.
Lots of questions that this anecdote doesn’t answer and you dismiss critique as pretentious.
A lot of the people here are knowledgeable—in specific domains. I think people forget that being an expert in one thing doesn't make you qualified to judge, understand, or discuss another domain in depth.
Case in point, the recent "tech that reduces sound by 94%" post that got upvoted here.
You can cite science and demographic facts while leaving out your own overt normative opinions, yet you will still get downvoted from both 'sides' who think they are being slighted if you don't give a clear opinion. Unfortunately this is the way scientific method-driven experts talk (and generally anyone who's into political science rather than political opinion) - but in this domain it really sets non-experts off for some reason.
The thing is, most people are taught at a young age that their political opinion matters a lot, which probably has something to do with generalized experts walking into this domain thinking they're already experts and getting quickly frustrated when they realize they're not, lashing out at the source of that frustration via downvotes.
Back in the day the responses to these kinds of topics used to be via comments, now it's almost always via drive-by downvotes. I used to bemoan the inane buzzword replies back in the forum days because they were typically boring and predictable, but they were still infinitely better than the downvote without comment that is the norm for this site (and even more common on reddit).
> Why Is There So Little Money In Politics
> In this paper, we argue that campaign contributions are not a form of policy-buying, but are rather a form of political participation and consumption. We summarize the data on campaign spending, and show through our descriptive statistics and our econometric analysis that individuals, not special interests, are the main source of campaign contributions. Moreover, we demonstrate that campaign giving is a normal good, dependent upon income, and campaign contributions as a percent of GDP have not risen appreciably in over 100 years – if anything, they have probably fallen. We then show that only one in four studies from the previous literature support the popular notion that contributions buy legislators’ votes. Finally, we illustrate that when one controls for unobserved constituent and legislator effects, there is little relationship between money and legislator votes. Thus, the question is not why there is so little money politics, but rather why organized interests give at all. We conclude by offering potential answers to this question
On to your comment.
Long story short, the 30 year review and analysis states that rich people (those that pay their senators/congresscritters) get their laws passed, even when rejected by the bulk of the common person. And yet popular nonrich-popular laws are regularly dismissed without a consideration.
1$ = 1 vote. It happens at the regulatory level, the bill level, and the vote level. That's corruption no matter how you frame it.
I was with your list of truths until this.
Can you point to it?
I have no doubt that you can tell the age of a skull with a close inspection of the teeth. This story was an anthropologist looking at remains from several feet away and claiming that it’s aboriginal from the lack of dental decay.
I proposed a few exceptions to that rule. Certainly not a quip about the expertise of the anthropologist, but rather the accuracy of the story.
Ask any doctor or midwife who can look at an ultrasound image and tell you the sex of the baby while you are still staring at a smudgy grey moving image. Ask any accident investigator who can estimate the speed and trajectory of the vehicles while you are still looking for the skid marks.
I personally have spent over 25 years interacting on public message boards, and I am a domain expert enough that I can pick an armchair expert who has lots of perceived theoretical knowledge, but little or no real world knowledge, but still feels the need to espouse their opinion in order to get their dopamine hit of the day - all just from a quick glance at their post.
However, I have listened to a talk by a lady (she consults on murdered cadavers) who can tell which season a body died in by analyzing the teeth! Apparently there is a lot there.
Sugar is being added to most foods nowadays. The timeline of cheap refined sugar is the timeline of sugar addiction and tooth decay.
Scientists examined the remains of 52 adults who had lived between roughly 12,000 and 13,000 B.C. and were buried in the cave. An astonishing 49 of them, or 94%, had cavities, which affected more than half of the surviving teeth.
Plus another link in this thread claims ancient fruits have different sugars that don’t cause decay.
Any ties with the sugar lobbby famous for lobbying the US government into blackmailing the WHO in increasing the amounts “healthy” sugar in their dietary guidelines?
Even with oranges which have very high sugar content, you cannot easily eat four oranges but you can drink their orange juice along with most of the sugar and none of the fiber.
The sugar lobby’s talking points steer the conversation toward equalizing refined and non refined sugars, and calories from refined sugars vs calories from non refined sugars.
I found this in depth lecture really enlightening
Going to take a guess and say that a brief glance at the teeth is probably not the _only_ age determination method they applied before determining their course of action.
Here's a somewhat fascinating article looking at both sides of this debate: https://deniseminger.com/2011/05/31/wild-and-ancient-fruit/
The conclusion to me seems to be that unless you're in the tropics, you almost certainly be eating less fruit, and the fruit you'll eat will be much more varied and seasonal. A lot of the wild fruit you eat may have specific defenses (tannins, alkaloids, etc.) that discourage you from eating too much (the fruit's job is to make you spread and excrete its seeds, after all).
I've always felt that if there was a part of our anatomy that we should think of replacing completely with an artificial design, it's teeth. We already do so now (at great expense), but it's literally one or two teeth replaced but I'm thinking more along the lines of replacing every single one with something stronger and more efficient for it's intended purpose.
I have a fairly gracile jaw for a guy. A bit of a chinless wonder. I have 28 teeth. Always have, since my adult teeth came through - but I do have wisdom teeth. What I don’t have are any M1 molars. They’re just not there. Seems my maternal grandfather and my sister are the same.
I’m 35, with so-so at best oral hygiene. Never had a cavity, never had a filling, never needed orthodontics - and really weirdly neither has my grandfather - he’s 86 with a complete and unaltered set of original gnashers. A bit worn down after seven decades, but all still there and working. My mother lost all of hers in a motorbike crash decades ago so there’s no telling there.
So - while I think the idea of artificial replacements is a perfectly good one, there should perhaps be some research into pheno/genotypes such as my family’s which seems to have a useful mutation for the incredible shrinking jaw. It’s this sort of thing which could be a valid use of gene editing - it doesn’t really present any advantages other than being able to eat.
I've had the same dentist for almost 15 years now and his comment to me every time he looks at my teeth is: "Boring!".
My wife is a dentist. One of her classmates told the story of their parent's dental practice, where someone had taken their teenager in, discovered they needed some expensive dental work, and said "take out all the teeth, they're gonna fail eventually anyway".
Human teeth are about as reliable as the gal bladder. Obviously it would be preferable to maintain your essence but (post)agrarian diets and lifestyles disagree.
I think what your main concern is that such a drastic body modification should not be done in a flippant manner. I feel the same way about hormone therapy.
The reason they sell well with old people is that the patient will be dead before the lifecycle of the implant is up.
There are SO many things that can and do go wrong placing implants, especially now that every corner dentist is using them as a profit center.
Bone loss, gum recession, rejected implants, nerve issues, poor aging of crowns in both color/quality, and a million other things make implants far from a simple solution.
A full set of implants is easily over 60k often times up near 80-100k, and a huge number of full mouth implant patients had to come back due to complications (and our offices had lower complication numbers per implant.)
If it weren't for the bone loss thats hard to get back, implant supported dentures are almost a better way to go.
For some reasons one of my dentists had a booklet about the replacements in his waiting rooms. They all have issue.
She does implants but she is aware and open about inferiority of artificial solutions and always tries to save as much of natural teeth as she can because mechanical interface between artificial thing and tissue never works as good as real stuff.
(who knew this knowledge would come up)
So much that some of the reality stars make it a show or as part of their contracts. 
Except they look ridiculous and many can't chew properly especially some meat afterwards...
Not sure I'd want my teeth ground down to little sticks. Nature works best as it intended, I like my teeth.
I have cosmetic veneers on two teeth that were intact but looked awful, and they're just a layer of porcelain laminate glued to my real tooth. The underlying tooth was polished and filed a bit, but certainly not "ground down to little sticks"; the teeth could have been left as-is and functioned fine.
I also have several full crowns, but they were down because of decay, certainly not for cosmetic purposes. That of course does not mean that you can't do full crowns for cosmetic purposes, but it's usually a last resort before implants.
If you can't chew properly on a crown you have a bad dentist. Nature really does not work best in this case for a lot of us - two of my crowns are in place because parts of the real tooth shattered into several pieces while chewing, others because the damage eventually got so severe that there was too little left to save.
I got it when I was a child (broke the end off when I was ~10 years old) and my gums have receded somewhat since then, so now there's a gap where the base of the original tooth is visible below. I was told at the time that I'd probably need a new one once I got older for this reason, but it hasn't been a problem so I haven't gotten around to it--I'm in my mid 20s now. It's also fallen out twice (once when I sneezed and it skittered across the classroom floor), so now I have an irrational feeling sometimes when eating apples or other tough foods that it's coming loose.
Also note that dentistry tech advances very rapidly; a proper crown done now will be substantially better than a crown done a decade ago, and certainly a lot better than a mediocre one done a decade ago.
I'll go with the spine, for pretty much the same reasons except more.
And there seems to be an understanding that "bad back" is an extremely common thing that can happen to anyone. For example, when JFK was president, many of his health issues were covered up because they wanted to project the image of a young, healthy President--except it was pretty well known that he had a bad back. In other words, in the 1960's, it was considered perfectly normal for a man in his forties to have a "bad back" for some reason or another, even during an era when chronic health conditions were stigmatized.
(It probably helped that JFK's back injury was partially caused by his heroic WWII exploits, namely swimming back and forth to rescue the crew of his sunken PT boat and sometimes towing their unconscious bodies to shore with the strap of their life vest between his teeth--thus elevating his disability to the status of a heroic war wound.)
If youre already losing teeth, the more implants the better, as your bone requires that object there to not recede - and bone grafting is very expensive and hit or miss.
Take good care of your teeth, theres nothing like the real ones. If I had not worked at a huge implant office, I wouldn't believe it.
My work benefits cover full dental and my contacts, but I would have to pay substantial out-of-pocket for those procedures, even if they could save the benefits plan money over time.
The pseudoscience-y orthotropics part is where adults are told they can expand their fully developed jaws.
What's the basis for your eager dismissal of an alternative?
I mean - I'm not an orthodontist or a surgeon, but once growth has stopped in the palate as a teenager or young adult I'd be skeptical of claims around bone growth or sculpting. Do you have any resources?
In addition, my bite has been stable without a retainer, whereas in the past I've had braces twice.
My background is I had an undiagnosed mild tongue tie that I discovered a bit over a year ago. I previously couldn’t press my tongue against the roof of my mouth, which led to a tongue thrust on swallowing, which led to an open bite, and my nasal breathing was very constrained.
I can't get the back of my tongue up between my molars if I have my front tongue close to my front teeth. I can like either mew my front tongue or back tongue. Any tips?
Also how long did it take you to successfully be able to unconsciously keep your back tongue up? Right now it's hard for me to do it for 10 seconds bc it's so uncomfortable
I’m not sure how long it took to hold my tongue in place, but it took me 3-6 months to see initial external results, given regular mewing + chewing hard gum (falim/mastic). The bone movement occurs in tiny increments of course, but over months the changes are clear. Keeping the mouth closed while breathing is also very important, as it’s the balance of forces between the tongue and cheeks/lips that shapes the arch. For me this wasn’t easy/comfortable prior to expanding my airway via mewing. As for discomfort, I would just keep at it for a few months and see whether your palate is opening up.
I’d love to see some actual evidence of that, which isn’t in the form of online anecdotes and testimonials on sites dedicated to the concept, or weird-as-hell “incel” sites. Something peer reviewed, in a respected journal would be a stsrt, even if the results haven’t been replicated yet.
Because it sounds like complete nonsense, and looking at the sites discussing it only reinforces my belief that it’s crap. I’ve spent some time searching for even a scrap of what someone with a hint of skepticism would consider compelling evidence and found nothing. I did find some communities I never knew existed, and wish I could now forget. Suffice it to say that “incels” are a truly strange bunch, and gullible at that.
Of course, my experience isn't peer reviewed, but it could play a part in motivating such research. After all, if society is in denial, they will not bother studying it, will they?
A cursory search on details has broken this down to extractive / surgical vs. non-extractive / non-surgical orthodontics, the latter of which has proven to be effective before the palate and growth plates have fused -- in children.
Talk to somebody you trust with a degree in the field.
Tough ask for a lot of people! I have a distant uncle who works as a dentist in the Appalacians and does a lot of pro-bono work. My family has a tradition of taking the children on a trip to see him to ask if they really need braces. Often the answer is no.
I’d feel confident asking him this question, but I don’t think most people have someone like that.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”
— Upton Sinclair
Orthodontists are dentists.
* chewing hard gum, falim/mastic, for jaw muscle development
* exerting pressure on the back of my hard palate with the tip of my tongue
* focusing on adjusting my breathing and swallowing patterns to press on the palate rather than elsewhere
Treatments that make use of the Orthotropics philosophy or of appliances like the ALF or FAGGA are relatively new and are not mainstream. However, there are many case studies available online showing them in action and showing before/after pictures.
I don't know what kind of resources you're looking for, but this video  provides a quick introduction to Orthotropics.
The ALF can be applied to both the maxilla and mandible (whereas the FAGGA, I believe, is just for the maxilla), but the growth it promotes is more gradual and subtle.
I don't think either appliance shares much in common with lingual braces, functionally speaking. I'm not a doctor, but from what I understand lingual braces act primarily on the individual teeth whereas the ALF and FAGGA act primarily on the jaw bones.
Obviously I did this for medical reasons - sleep apnea - but I do wonder if the so-called epidemic of sleep apnea could be related to the dietary changes described in this article.
I don't know how any of this stuff works, I'm not a scientist, but the dots seemed to connect based on everything I believe about our physiology, which is admittedly a little "alternative". I don't think you can do exercises and turn into brad pitt, but I'd be willing to bet that there are mechanisms and signals that our body needs in order to self correct misalignments and/or regenerate that our modern lifestyles don't provide due to our indoor sedentary lifestyles.
(Full-disclosure: I'm an angel investor in them and not a dentist, so only reporting what I've heard from the dentists.)
No idea if the product works, but please don't downvote just because it's promotional. If you're an expert in the field and have a particular criticism, please consider engaging in a measured response instead of downvoting.
(I have no affiliation with `dlg` or the company in question)
His conclusion was quite different: that the cause was a lack of nutrients in the modern diet.
It is difficult to point to an example from his work that would clearly rule out the theory of chewing in this article. Sugar and white flour that he pointed to are both easy to chew and low in nutrients.
However, it is hard to think of lack of chewing as the primary factor in tooth decay, and Price was focused first on decay rather than crowding. Price did note a very strong relation between decay and crowding, and in that light it is difficult to view lack of chewing as the primary force in either decay or crowding.
I pose this since it is likely many people would worry about aesthetics more than actual dental health, and also because the social consequences of being/not being conventionally attractive can have significant impact on people's lives as well, so answering this sort of stuff is probably necessary for actual behavior change.
Example surgery site: https://www.vippskorea.com/face/facial-contouring-surgery/ja...
So now there's significantly less actual natural selective pressure on well-aligned jaws / teeth in human populations, meaning phenotypic variability in human jaw / teeth is simply the result of genetic drift in a very large population. The holdover, of course, being there's a market for and industry around striving for perfect jaws and smiles in Hollywood because we have a behavioural (but no longer naturally selective) predisposition towards that signal of health and fitness.
... that's always sort of been my mental model of orthodontia as an industry, at least.
“Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human” has a lot to say on this subject.
Within one generation, the palate size decreased. So that can't be explained by natual selection. Well, unless small jaws killed a huge portion of the population before modern times.
Edit: It's not that small jaws killed anybody, the hypothesis would be that in a pre-industrialized society sexual selective (behavioural) mechanisms favoured well-aligned jaws / teeth but with the rise of globalization stronger selective mechanisms superseded them. This would be mostly due to rapid real living standard + wealth accumulation gains more strongly correlated with other behaviours.
My point is orthodontia has a large market because, outside of actual pain and health symptoms associated with malocclusion, we have a predisposition towards well-aligned jaws and teeth.
I'm not making any assessment of the effects of orthodontia on long-term selective biases in human populations.
... but also, four or five generations is not insignificant. Evolution is just a change in allele frequency in a population over time, and five generations is more than enough time to objectively measure a change in frequency with such a large population sample. (I think the better argument would be that that the number of people that have had access to medical tooth alignment is a statistically insignificant fraction of the global population.)
There's also cultural difference in the aesthetics of teeth, for example, Japanese culture considers yaeba as cute.
1) Human ancestors didn’t live as long, giving them less time for teeth to get misaligned in a terrible way.
2) Animals will tend to lose teeth for various reasons, so some extra teeth (including eg. wisdom teeth that appear during the prime of life) are probably useful spares more often than not. Not enough teeth was probably a more
likely cause of death than too many.
Reasons being: certain parts of the dental periphery are more vulnerable since they are supposed to be covered by gums or neighboring teeth.
My dentists keep saying that our teeth are highly specialized in every meaning of the word, and every deviation from the beaten path is heavily penalized with decay and a number of other conditions.
I can easily see why this became mainstream, because it’s easy to do, and a sucker is born every minute. I am however, surprised to see this bunk here. Although, I’ve noticed that on health topics this forum is at its worst. Endless testimonials about vitamin D, magnesium, LSD, FSD diets and more seem paradoxically popular here, and I’m unsure why that is. Maybe the California connection?
Seriously consider medical tourism. I live in China so total cost is going to be just under $3,000. You might be able to go to Mexico or Thailand every two months for your teeth cheaper than getting it done locally. If you get crowns (veneers?) on your bottom incisors you can definitely get that done cheaper in Thailand than the US, including flights and a two week holiday.
Aesthetically, and durability wise, I'd say it's definitely worth it.
If they get the proper crowns, they are far more durable than real teeth, which is superb for a "tight mouth" such as mine.
It might be better to investigate these things based on the assumption that "G-d knows where" isn't a single place, and that all people that one considers primitive aren't the same people.
For example, you ever wonder when they show primitive people and their teeth are terrible, or when people that live in your culture spend no time on their teeth and never visit the dentist, but their teeth are fine?
Or how some people are naturally thin, and some have bone structures that seem like they were made to be fat?
Sadly, you will often see 40 year olds missing many teeth in those same areas.
Tough food, lot’s of chewing → No crooked teeth
I was born without "Wisdom teeth", which my Dentist claims is widely accepted as human evolution. (apparently the number of people born without them is growing)
But I also have a bad, and getting worse "popping jaw" issue. where my jaw pops (loud enough to make my ear ring for a while after) or locks up when under too much pressure or opened too wide.
Her advice is to eat soft food.... which seems to go against what TFA suggests we should be doing.
I don't see what the selective pressure for this would be, since people with wisdom teeth just have surgery to remove them, so there's no real difference in terms of reproductive fitness right?
I think this is mainly a US and Australian thing: https://www.sciencealert.com/no-you-probably-don-t-need-to-g...
In Australia it's particularly bad. During a checkup my dentist casually mentioned how he'd be removing mine (at a later date), even though he could provide no reason for doing so. The cheeky bugger just assumed I wouldn't ask why!
Since then my trust in dentists has been further eroded by this Cochrane review https://www.cochrane.org/CD004625/ORAL_routine-scale-and-pol... that concludes with:
For adults without severe periodontitis who regularly access routine dental care, routine scale and polish treatment makes little or no difference to gingivitis, probing depths and oral health-related quality of life over two to three years follow-up when compared with no scheduled scale and polish treatments (high-certainty evidence). There may also be little or no difference in plaque levels over two years (low-certainty evidence). Routine scaling and polishing reduces calculus levels compared with no routine scaling and polishing, with six-monthly treatments reducing calculus more than 12-monthly treatments over two to three years follow-up (high-certainty evidence), although the clinical importance of these small reductions is uncertain. Available evidence on the costs of the treatments is uncertain. The studies did not assess adverse effects (of the scale and polish treatment).
I know it's a bit of a joke that HN commentators assume they know more than the experts, so just to be clear: I consider the experts here to be the study authors.
If I manage to get through the three day come-down of caffeine cessation the popping goes away and my jaw starts to relax.
Are you aware of HN Replies? Email alleys for HN comment responses.
I got through the caffeine withdrawals last week. I haven’t had any caffeine since Monday last week.
Those first few days are unpleasant.
I think that pre-civilization humans did not eat much sweets past adolescence. This is because, as soon as a minor cavity starts developing, it hurts like hell to put anything sweet in your mouth. Sweet stuff was for children and adolescents, then we just stopped eating it.
Pre-civilisation humans wouldn't have had "sweets" as we know them. They would have occasionally had unrefined sugars through honey or palm sugar, and at certain times of the year had fruits (which most likely wouldn't even have been as sweet as they are now)
Unless the cavities go all the way through, recessed gingiva expose cementum that erodes, exposing dentin.
It's the same sugar-loving bacteria that inflame the gums.
I always attributed it to my obsession with ripping my teeth out as a kid. Weird, I know. I figured that it gave my teeth room to grow.
After reading this I’m curious if it was due to my parents doing baby-led weaning with me. They started it pretty young and always fed me whatever they were eating.
See the British and how the introduction of sugar into their tea created so many crooked sets of teeth.
If a distinguished professor in dental antropology can't stand up for himself for his daughters welfare in his field of study he's lost a lot of respect from me.
A scenario where one's wife doesn't believe in one's own scientific findings is another matter, which might ellicit thoughts about "standing up for yourself". Maybe that's what you were reacting to.