Tooth issues - what gives?
April 14, 2011 7:44 AM Subscribe
What is up with human teeth? Why do they so often come in crooked, in the wrong place, or not at all?
posted by yawper to health & fitness (29 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
This question is not about dental hygiene; it’s about how teeth grow in.
Just about every person I know has some measure of teeth issues: crooked teeth, impacted teeth, overbite, underbite, or a combination thereof. I don’t mean that everyone I know has horrible teeth – it’s just that everyone has SOMETHING. For example I have mostly straight teeth but I also have a couple of crooked ones and my wisdom teeth were impacted. My husband has one tooth that’s higher up on his gums than the rest. My daughter has a tooth growing out of her palate. WTF, evolution? It seems to me that in general, other parts of the body grow in as they’re supposed to: the bones in our fingers or toes don’t tend to grow crooked; our ribs don’t poke out of our abdomens, spines generally grow straight, etc. Why then are teeth so messed up? I understand that physically interfering with the growth process (thumb-sucking etc) will alter the shape of the teeth. But barring those extenuating circumstances, why don’t our teeth just do what they’re supposed to do?