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Tell Tale Teeth: Discover our Evolutionary Origins

Posted in Dental News

2 minute read


Image by Esben Horn, 10tons; supervised by Martin Rücklin, John Long and Philippe Janvier

Scientists and dentists may not attend the same schools or encounter the same things every day, but we both have one complex skill in common: we can tell a lot simply from the condition of someone’s teeth. From how old you are to what kind of food you eat each day, your teeth tell a story that you may or may not want to be told.

It was once thought that teeth evolved much later than jaws in living vertebrates (animals with backbones), but new technology has revealed that teeth actually evolved along with or soon after the evolution of jaws. This stunning new research, published in the leading scientific journal Nature, refutes what scientists had believed for a long time.

By performing non-invasive 3D microsurgery with high energy X-rays on a primitive jawed fish called Compagopiscis, researchers were able to see every cell growth line within the jaws to discover how the teeth and jaws developed. By comparing these findings with results from living specimens, they determined that the earliest jawed vertebrates actually did have teeth along with their jaw bones.

Discoveries like this may only be attained with a high-powered X-ray machine, but here at our Beverly Hills office, I can find a lot of information about your health and lifestyle just by performing a simple dental inspection. Sensitive and bleeding gums can be a result of poor diet, stress, or too much spicy food. A permanently dry mouth can be a sign of diabetes. If you have eroded enamel and chipped or sensitive teeth, you may be consuming acidic drinks a bit too often. Be sure to keep up with your daily oral hygiene habits and keep your regular dental appointments because even if you don’t admit how attentive you are to your oral care, your teeth will!

If you are interested in a cosmetic dentistry procedure or simply want a checkup and cleaning for your teeth, please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our contact form today to schedule an appointment!