The Occlivion

Coming to Kindle Store in November 2017

The Destruction to come… when the ‘Malocclennials’ grow up.

Yesterday I was driving through a lower class neighborhood in Boston when I stopped at a stop sign to let a mother and her two kids pass.  The mother was quite obese with very clear torsion of the hips/legs.  Her kids, who I’d put at around ages 4 and 8, were both clearly mouthbreathers and were clearly on their way to being obese with twisted bodies.   It triggered a thought to me…  “what will happen when all these kids grow up?”  What I am seeing here is not an exception… it is the new norm in America now.  And it has some very dark future connotations on the future of this country.

  • These kids will have misformed skulls and bodies that will have them experiencing health issues in their 20’s… probably even mid-20’s
  • These kids will be struggling more with their health than trying to get ahead in their careers.  Meaning they will never likely build up a savings pool to base a future off of.
  • Many of the parents of these kids’ parents will save up their hardworking money and stick braces on them… thus accelerating the whole downward cycle.
  • The healthcare  system in this country is so broken that once the shit hits… they are pretty much screwed in a way that it  would be difficult for them to ever economically recover.


I don’t think many people, even out  here on the TMJ forums, get it yet… just how deep the implications of this shit are for the future.  We are talking about a generation growing up now (ie. kids that are 0 – 10yrs old), who I am terming the ‘Malocclenials’, that is by far much more screwed up than the Millennials, who were more screwed up than my generation.

Let’s look at a few facts based on my observations here in Boston:

  1. When I was a kid growing up in a suburb of NYC in the early 1980’s I would estimate that perhaps 5% of kids were obese.  This number is now easily over 70% in most American suburbs now.  And  the diet has not changed that radically… as low fat & fat free was already a craze even when I was a kid.
  2. The percent of kids that I would estimate needed braces back then was perhaps <10% based on my rough recollection (note that it could have been slightly higher).  Whereas now I would easily put this number at over 70% in most of the kids I am seeing.


We are seeing a massive, massive decline in the span of 30 years….  And the healthcare system of this country is not set up to cope at all.  Most insurance covers have never even heard of ALF, let alone think about covering it…  and they still try to avoid most kinds of true TMJ treatments.

So what will  happen to a family like the one I saw crossing the street?

Well shit will start going wrong with the parent(s)… who will have a tough time maintaining their job.  Which was barely getting them by to begin with.  The parent will begin having health issues, for which they throw the typical pharmaceutical treatments that doctors currently offer, and it will of course be useless.  So they will get more and more depressed, while wasting more and more of their hard earned money.

Meanwhile their kids will get more and more screwed up… and possibly have things like ADD (Attention deficit disorder) or sleep apnea.  They will also get obese and probably a bit depressive.  Then they will also begin having health issues, and the whole house of cards will begin to collapse.

What I am talking about is not something that will happen to the ‘occasional’ lower class American family… it is WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MOST LOWER CLASS AMERICAN FAMILIES.

And note that I think similar things will happen to the middle class as well, but they will have a bit more wealth and education to defend themselves against it.


But let’s not sugarcoat anything here….  I am talking about the absolute destruction of millions of American families.  And it will be fucking painful to watch.

Myobrace is like nitrous oxide for ALF

The other day Paula made a comment about drinking with myobrace and I immediately started the technique on my 3-year old son.  He sits on my lap and we watch cartoons, and everytime he drops his mouth  open I give him a sip of water to gulp down.  Then usually he keeps his mouth closed for 20-30 seconds before it drops open again… and I hit him with the water again.  It is a game of persistence…  which happens to be a strength of mine 🙂

What I am seeing so far is extremely hopeful…  I have a feeling this will widen his arches, make more room for the tongue and retrain muscles in his face at light speed.  So thank you Paula for the suggestion.


But what it also reminded me of is that I have a myobrace that I haven’t used in like a year or so.  So I pulled it out and began drinking water, which also felt great as it forces the tongue to work correctly (in a kind of wave-like motion at the roof of the mouth).  I wore it for about two hours today and what I also noticed is that I feel a constant, fairly strong force from behind the bridge of the nose.  This is not something I feel without myobrace despite the fact that I have pretty decent tongue posture at this point.

And what I deduced from it is that the myobrace is forcing more of the base of the tongue onto the roof, and this is putting forward pressure on the maxilla.  Thus over time, the maxilla will likely move forward.

But what is more powerful… is that I believe this effect is compounded by the fact that I’ve been wearing ALF for almost a year.

Why?  Because ALF loosens all of the cranial bones and makes them mobile.  Then when you get that forward force from the myobrace forcing the tongue up, it’s like untapping the nitrous oxide and then stepping on the gas.

I plan on spending at least 1-2 hours per day wearing my myobrace, and I’ll try to update this post from time to time with results.

My potentially huge accidental discovery….What is the right place to register a lower splint?

Let me start off by saying that I  have experimented with bite registrations a ton.  I started with Starecta in November 2014 and have been trying different theories ever since.  And many times when I thought I ‘got it’, I then changed my opinion sometime later based on what I felt.

But my latest experiments have me feeling pretty confident about this methodology, which has some strong logical grounding.

So what is the correct position for registering a bite?

There are many theories out there ranging from:

  • Starecta says register in ‘O’ (and by the way I do feel that this is very important in healing the TMJ joint, which is often damaged when you first start your splint therapy)
  • Marcello has talked often about registering in ‘E’, ‘Ah’, as well as ‘O’
  • GNM has you relax the jaw with a TENS device and then set it
  • And others have talked about registering more or less where you swallow

And  what I have discovered is that it is that this last clickedone that counts the most…  Registering where you swallow, but most importantly…  you must be swallowing correctly with tongue on the roof!  When this happens the powerful forces behind the tongue (which  is connected to most of the muscles throughout your skull and neck) go straight and push things forward, rather than twisting the neck.

How did I come to this conclusion?

Basically for the past week or so I have been practicing my open mouthed swallow with the tongue on the roof a lot.  And what I noticed is that my jaw always sits in a specific position, which is different from the O-shaped registration I was using on my lower splint.  So every time I closed my mouth, my teeth  would hit and then need to slide slightly to fit into the pits where I’d registered.

And what I also felt was a lot of cervical instability.  I’d be cracking my neck a lot and felt like it was difficult holding my posture.

Why does the improperly positioned mandible twist the  neck?

I started to envision how my tongue would move when I swallowed.  If my jaw wanted  to sit angled to the right of where my O-shaped registration locked it in, it would essentially twist the muscles connected to it.  To picture this do the following…  cup one hand over the other in front of you.  Then  move the lower hand on a different angle so it was angled more to the right.  Now move the top hand forward  slightly, like the movement that happens in the upper jaw due to the forces of the tongue when you swallow.  You can imagine how this force from the upper jaw going forward would essentially twist the muscles connected to the tongue.  So how do you ensure that you don’t put these torsional forces?  You register your jaw in the exact place it wants to sit when you swallow with your mouth open.

What is the best way to ensure you register in this position?

The simplest way in my opinion is to use a flat plane lower splint and then put a bit of polymorph on the back  (where the first molar is).  Note that you probably can also cover the premolar and 2nd/3rd molars if you preferred.   To do this, heat some water, put the polymorph in till it gets soft, then place it on the splint and bite on it with good posture.  Now the key to registering correctly is this…  Swallow with tongue on the roof of the mouth as the polymorph is still soft!!!! 

Next take it out of your mouth and put it in cold water, and voila!  You are registered and it took you all of about a minute!

Then with polymorph you can re-register as frequent as you wish.  Even multiple times a day, which at the beginning is probably best as things should be loosening up and moving forward quite quickly.


alf appliance

If I am right.. this is perhaps the MOST important key success factor in ALF therapy

Think about it.. the ALF works by encouraging and enforcing the action of the tongue, thereby pushing the midface  (ie maxilla) forward over time and aligning/leveling cranial bones.  However if your tongue was pushing asymmetrically due to your jaw being in the wrong position, then it would be twisting your neck all the time.  Just today I was talking to a friend who had decided to give up ALF because it was sending his neck into spasm all the time, and this is when it all clicked to me!

If you ensure that your tongue is always driving things forward instead of twisting the neck, you basically ensure the success of your ALF treatment.  But note that as your treatment continues things move quite a bit,  so its important to re-register to maintain the right position of the mandible.  Which is also why I think correct ALF treatment should probably have patients registering their own lower splint bite themselves with polymorph rather than waiting for their periodic adjustments with the dentist (who will drill resin contacts).

If I am right… my conclusion goes well beyond ALF treatment… but is probably at the root cause of why most TMJ splint treatments fail

It’s simple in the end…  if you register the jaw in the wrong position you are twisting your neck thousands of times per day (each time you swallow).  And so that will make your cervical spine unstable and reflect in your posture and in forward head position.  As essentially the muscles would not know the correct place to sit and would be instable from twisting between two different positions all the time.

Today I’ve been utilizing this technique all day long and my neck and posture have felt more stable than they have for a long time… and I am effortlessly swallowing correctly.  Stay tuned!  I may just have cracked the fundamental flaw in why most TMJ treatments fail!

The ‘Open Mouth Swallow’: A variation of the ‘Mew Push Swallow’

A little over a year back I had watched a couple of videos that Mike Mew had made about how to swallow correctly.  Here are some newer ones that review the basic concepts:

  1. Suction Hold part 1
  2. Suction Hold part 2
  3. Suction Hold part 3

Essentially it consists of creating suction on the roof of the mouth with the tongue and then pushing the food/liquid through the back of the throat with the tongue in a wave-like motion.

Back then I remember practicing a lot, but it took a lot of effort and concentration to do it.  Since then, I guess aided by ALF and a lot of my own self-myofunctional work, things have gotten much easier.  One thing I used to practice a lot with my myofunctional teacher was suctioning liquids to the roof of the mouth and holding it there to practice good suction.

Now I’ve returned a bit to this idea lately to aid me in suctioning down the roof of my mouth with my ALF appliance (note I’ve been wearing a ‘Stealth ALF’ for about 6 months now).  Marcello talks a lot about suctioning down the roof of the mouth, and posted this picture of how his palatal sutures changed as a result.

suction roof

Marcello’s view, which I find an interesting one that you don’t hear other ALF dentists speak about, is that the whole point of ALF is to flatten the palate.

And one technique that I have adopted with this goal in mind is what I have named the ‘Open Mouth Swallow’

It works like this…

  1. Put a little bit of liquid in your mouth or just use a bit of saliva
  2. Suction it up to the roof of your mouth so that it is trapped between the tongue and roof.
  3. Open your mouth so that none of the teeth are touching
  4. Now swallow it while focusing on not allowing your teeth to touch and keeping your tongue behind the upper teeth.
  5. You will see as you get better that it will make a wave-like motion that is similar to what Mike Mew talks about

It is very easy to practice this at all times of the day using your own saliva.

And it should be accomplishing two things:

  1.  Over time it should push the maxilla forward
  2. Over time it should help flatten your palate


Good luck and post your progress on the comments if you wish.. I’d love to hear about it.


The ‘Controlled Arch’ appliance: The Holy Grail of Forward Growth at last?

The other day I went to visit longtime ALF practitioner, Dr. Lenny Kundel, and was a bit surprised to hear of an appliance I’d never heard of before called “Controlled Arch,” which was founded my Steve Galella. While Dr. Kundel has been getting some great results with ALF he basically concluded that the actual forward growth is minimal.  And that rather the miracle worker of forward growth is this Controlled Arch appliance, which pretty consistently gives some extremely rapid and huge growth. But at the expense of overpowering cranial motion, and therefore being a bit tough on the neurological system.  However he did say that since its nearly 100% bone remodeling that the results are stable.   So this set my head in a bit of a tailspin… because basically at face surface this seems to be the ‘Holy Grail of Dentistry’.  And I am currently digging further.

Here is a video about what it does


Apparently Steve Galella has been teaching this stuff in Australia for years

Here is what Dr. David Buck had to say about it..

This is the most profound advancement I have had in my entire 29 year dental career. I have the privilege and honor of having Dr. Steve Galella as a mentor, and I am certified by him to teach this revolutionary material to other dentists who want to do the best for their patients. Dr. Galella is a genius who has been teaching orthodontics for decades. He worked with Dr. Donald Enlow who is acknowledged as the world’s expert in facial biology/ growth and development. The left picture is a growth appliance based on many of Enlow’s principles. The right picture is an FRLA which is a part of the controlled arch mechanics that are used after a growth appliance. I and Dr. Tim Gross teach this at LVI where we integrate this form of orthopedics/orthodontics together with advanced physiologic occlusion/TMD protocols established at LVI. We are now able to fix broken foundations by true complete facial orthopedics in adults and children to generate true face forward horizontal development which solves difficult TMJ problems ( adults) that are recalcitrant to all other modalities. We are also now able to offer curative solutions to mild to moderate sleep apnea, instead of just symptomatic level care. This is unlike any other appliance or methods, it is simple stunning what we can achieve with this method.”


Some Research

  1. The Controlled Arch System: a new method of straightwire treatment (1999 by Steve Galella)
  2. Guiding atypical facial growth back to normal.  Part 2 by Steve Galella
  3. Guiding atypical facial growth back to normal.  Part 1 by Steve Galella
  4. The Controlled Arch system: a new method of straightwire treatment Part II (2000 by Steve Galella)

For something that has been around this long, there is surprisingly little literature on this appliance.  So if you find other interesting things, please do post links in the comments.


Dear Darick Nordstrom, the best thing you can do for the world is to scale ALF hard asap!!

First some context

My son turns three in a month and is also about to start ALF.  I’ve talked  to a few different experienced ALF dentists who have been treating kids for awhile and their feedback is the same.  ALF is consistently amazing at putting kids’ growth (skull & skeletal) back on track, while also getting  rid of nasty things like ADD (attention deficit disorder), sleep apnea, and a host of other things.  They also consistently say that the earlier the better because you in essence capture more of the natural growth since there is less and less genetic growth as the child gets older.

atom bomb

So why have I made this bold entreaty to  Darick Nordstrom?

Simple. Because we are seeing about 95%+ of modern kids in America with their growth screwed up.  And what this will mean later as they become adults is absolute catastrophe on a scale that quite honestly this country has never seen.  I am talking worse than World War I,  World War II and the Vietnam War combined?  Why?  Because you will basically see in 20-40 years an entire generation of adults that are having major health issues and rather than contributing to the economy… they will be draining it, in particular the medical system.  After the wars, at least you had healthy adults that could put everything back together and drive the economy forward.  But with this malocclusion epidemic, they will just continue to be a drain for another 40+ years or however their lifespan is.  Essentially bankrupting this country.


So, yes, I am basically saying  that not getting our kids on ALF is probably the biggest fucking risk to the economy that this country faces.  And this shit can do shitloads more future damage to this country than Donald Trump possibly could in his best wet dream.

But I also have more selfish reasons for scaling ALF…  as I have been exploring various practitioners and have found what I consider several flaws currently in the product:


1. It is overpriced by most practitioners

I  mean lets be honest, this is a very simple lightwire appliance that costs about $100-150 and about an hour or two of work for a lab to make.  I know because I inquired at a lab and if I was a dentist they were ready to sell me one at that price…    Plus Marcello made one in Europe with a lab for 70 Euros and has gotten terrific results via his own self efforts. Yet despite this, most dentists are charging $6,000 or more for it.

Plus the process is driven in large part by osteopaths and your own myofunctional work more than the dentist, as the adjustments are fairly straightforward and not difficult to do yourself.  So basically if you tripled the number of ALF dentists the price would probably drop considerably and make it much more affordable to the millions of parents out there who should be doing it but could not afford it even if they knew about it.

2. By getting more practitioners to do it, the faster the education spreads

If you triple the number of practitioners promoting  it, it is natural that the knowledge of ALF will spread at least three times as fast, and more likely there is a compounding curve to that, so it would be even  much faster than that.

3. By getting more practitioners to do it, you increase the likelihood that insurance companies will cover it one day

Again a no brainer.. that the more people that understand this stuff and its huge health benefits, the faster health companies will ‘get it’ and understand that by investing now, they will save themselves tons of money down the road.

4. By getting more practitioners to do it, you increase the knowledge sharing of these practitioners

In my experience so far, ALF practitioners will look at the same patient and pretty much each one will have a different opinion on how to treat and what appliance to use… meaning that there is still relatively little consistency currently.  Which is natural as the methodology seems to offer quite a bit of flexibility to the practitioner.

And probably at the moment, there is little knowledge sharing between dentists.  Yes there seems to be some conferences, etc but relatively little has been written online.

5. By getting more practitioners to do it, you make it more practical to people

So for example, if I were to move in the future from Boston I would need my son to continue with a new dentist.  But as there is little consistency between dentists, the dentist in the new place that I lived would probably ask me to start with a new appliance from scratch and pay a hefty sum again.  So it is not yet like when you purchase a shirt from Abercrombie’s Boston store, but can then exchange it in their Manhattan  store.  But one day it should be that easy… because we are going to need this to be in the hands of the majority of the population at some point.


So Darick…  I’m not sure if you will end up reading this… But if you do, think about the mark you can potentially leave on this world.  And yes, I can guess that as a dentist you may not like the business elements of scaling this product you’ve created… but I am sure there are plenty of business folks out there to partner with.  And if you can’t find any… hell, reach out to me 🙂



The only REAL way to develop foot arches… and I bet you haven’t heard of it

For the past few days I’ve been walking around with my arches pulled up naturally the way they should be, and it’s in fact difficult for me to walk with my arches flat. I know the feeling because I intentionally tried to walk with my arches up for several months consciously and without much success, so i had given up.  But now it’s happening naturally and i would even say that it is difficult for me to walk flat footed.

The difference?

Simple…  I have been untwisting my legs with this method I posted about earlier.  And now that they’ve untwisted a bit, this is all happening naturally.  
how to untwist

So what does this mean?

Well, it’s pretty well documented that when you are pronated and pigeon-toed that this has many negative impacts throughout the body, in particular on your pelvic area and lower back.  Here’s an example of one such article.  But all the sites out there that document this stuff never understood that the reason for this pronation in the first place is the bite.  No question about it… and there are no other root causes in my view.
So if you untwist your legs and then lock it in with the bite using something like Starecta or a Marcellian Method splint, then you will have natural arch support.  And over time your pelvis will align, lower back will improve and many other positive impacts will happen.



How to untwist your legs in a matter of weeks?

 Who is impacted by twisted legs?

I would say that based on my observation probably at least 2/3 of Americans have twisted legs to some degree.  Often it starts from childhood due to occlusal issues and then just gets worse and worse with time.  Often throwing the pelvis off and causing the hips to widen.  This could even be a major contributor to obesity.  Just have a look at these legs of a good athlete… this is what your legs ‘should’ look like.


Now compare yours to them.  Is the shape similar?  If not, then you have twisted legs.  And no, it is not genetic at all.  I realized I had twisted legs when I was only about three or four years old.  The reason I remember is that I had pigeon toes and my parents were always telling me to walk with my toes out… the reasoning back then was that I was ‘lazy’ and so didn’t bother to try and push my toes out correctly.  Makes me laugh how illogical and stupid that logic was in hindsight.  The true reason was that my bite and jaw had not developed correctly and my legs were just a compensation pattern in the body’s attempt to balance itself.


A bit of context on how I came to my discovery

So first a bit of history…  I had issues due to TMJ for pretty much my  entire adult life, starting with tightness in my neck and shoulder when I was about 22 and getting gradually worse till in 2014 I had brain fog that made it pretty impossible to work.  During that process I had visited over 100 doctors and then dentists trying to figure out what seemed like a huge mystery.  Note that I did not know I had TMJ till about 2013.

After many futile efforts I was about to give up, when in the Fall of 2014 I discovered by complete chance a DIY splint method called Starecta.  And it got me out of my symptoms in a matter of months and then continued to untwist and release my body for the next year or so.  This is actually an old xray of my skull showing how it untwisted with starecta.


During that process my legs had changed and I could see and feel the difference.  My assymetric arch support became more symmetric with time.  But while my legs had untwisted a bit, I had never gotten them to untwist nearly as much as they should have.  This was clearly visible by how my legs were turned in from below the knee and also manifested itself in my pelvis which was clearly out of balance and tight.

This remained the case until a few days ago when I came upon method that I found highly efficient at untwisting the legs.  Basically I had known before that that if I searched for tight spots in my body and then held them in a stretch, that my bite would change (meaning the contacts where the upper and lower teeth connect changes).  This is very clear when you do Starecta as you bite into ‘pits’ which are essentially holes in a lower splint that fit exactly the contours of your upper teeth.  And so if your bite changes, the upper teeth no longer fit directly into the pits, but rather they hit the splint first and you need to slide them into the pits.

That piece of knowledge I probably had for a year or more, but by accident a few days ago I decided to hold me feet as flat as I could against a wall as in the picture.  It happened that the room was quiet and after holding the position for like 20 seconds I could actually hear something releasing in my skull.  It’s a very light and subtle sound, but still audible.  Then as soon as I bit down into the pits of my splint, I noticed that they no longer fit evenly.  Then I repeated and got the same result again. And voila!  A new method was born!


How do you untwist your legs?

  1. Make a ‘Marcellian Method’ splint, which applies the same principles as Starecta except you make it out of polymorph, which is much faster to iterate on since it gets soft in hot water.  I call it ‘Marcellian’ as Marcello is the main endorser of this method, and you can find out more about it on his blog here.
  2. Register a bite in O-shape into the polymorph while standing up straight and having head standing as tall as you can.
  3. Then stand against a wall with feet spread as in the pic above.  Make sure the room is as quiet as possible and listen for cranial bones to release.  Try to hold the position for a minute or more and push into tight areas.
  4. Now do a quick stretch of the pelvic area as something will likely release in there as well now.  Do this by putting one leg at a time on a chair and stretching.
  5. Check your bite to see if your teeth go directly into the cusps.  Most likely they will not.  So boil some water, soften your Marcellian splint, and re-register a new bite.  Then repeat steps 3-5 again and again until your bite no longer changes, or until you are just too tired to continue.

Voila!  You will begin to see your legs unwind like no chiropractor or osteopath has ever been able to achieve for you!


The Occlivial Couple

About a year and a half ago I was visiting NYC for Christmas and walking around lower Manhattan with my wife.  We came out of a CVS and in front of us was a man who was probably in his early 60’s and could barely walk and with a wife that looked like she was also perhaps 60 but could easily pass for 40.  It was at that time that I first came up with the concept of the Occlivial couple, though honestly I hadn’t called it that at that time.

But basically my wife and I got on the topic for awhile and I pointed out that this is and will continue to be the case more and more.

So exactly what is the Occlivial Couple?

The Occlivial couple is when a person with relatively good dental occlusion (= wide arches and straight teeth w/o braces) marries a person with relatively bad structure (= narrow arches or did braces) at an early time in their life when  their structure hasn’t reeked too much damage.  For example in your mid-20’s.  At that time the two people are more or less on par looks-wise and the bad structured person often makes up for the small deficit with things like personality, a good education and job, etc.  Thus they are more or less peers.

However as time goes on they go in two very different directions.  The good occlusioned person seems to only become better looking and more confident & charismatic over time, whereas the bad occlusioned person seems to go downhill steadily.  And in some cases this will manifest itself as the bad structured person becoming quite obese whereas the good structured person is still in good shape.  Plus the good structured person often tends to maintain a positive mood whereas the other person will seem to become more negative and skeptical in life.

At some extremes given enough time, this will actually end in divorce or a breakup of the relationship.  As the relative value of each person has diverged so much and the good structured person figures they can do better, as they no longer ‘love’ or perhaps respect their partner nearly as much anymore.

Have you seen these types of couples?  I bet you have… because here in Boston I see them all the time.  At a variety of life stages….  some are in their early 30’s and their paths are still just beginning to diverge whereas others are in their 50’s and 60’s and almost look strange together.  And for every couple you see there are probably several others that have already broken up due to this effect.  The ones you do see, are often still together in part due to their kids.


What general patterns do you see in Occlivial Couples?

1. According to the stereotypes they look strange… and often the poorer structured person makes up for their looks more and more via personality and being outspoken.

2. The worse occlusioned person will tend to become more and more jealous over time.

3.  For some reason you see much more large women with smaller men than the reverse in America….  and when you do see large men with smaller women, there is often wealth involved.


Are Occlivial Couples a good thing?

In my view the couples are bound to come under considerable strain as time goes on.  But some will overcome it.

Is Malocclusion genetic? Is beauty genetic? NO!!!!!!!!!!!

I constantly hear  people all around me saying things are ‘genetic’ without having any fundamental understanding of what that really means.  They see an obese person  and  say “oh that must be genetic because his mother looks like that.”  Or they see a person with a massive underbite and say “that is genetic because his dad has a similar underbite.”   I am sorry but this is 100% wrong.

Let’s have a look at what genetics  is…

As I graduated from a Life Sciences school back during my days in college I was forced to take a number of classes on biology and evolution.  And here are a few of the basics about how the process works:

  • Gregor Mendel came up with the concept of ‘inheritance’, ie. when an organism passes discrete heritable units, called genes, from parents to offspring
  • Humans are a “diploid” species, meaning that each person has two copies of each gene, one inherited from each parent.  Each version of a gene is known an ‘allele’.
  • The set of alleles for a given organism is called its genotype, while the observable traits in  an organism are called  its “phenotype”
  • Often one allele is dominant over the other, and the other is recessive.  But some alleles exhibit incomplete dominance
  • When pairs of organisms reproduce sexually, their offspring randomly inherit one of the alleles from each parent
  • The molecular basis for genes is DNA, which is composed of nucleotides, of which there are four types: adenine (A), cytosine (C),  guanine (G), and thymine (T).  Genetic info  exists in the sequence of these nucleotides
  • Genes express their functional effect thru the production of proteins (via a transcription process that includes the production of RNA)

Mutation and natural selection

  • during the DNA replication process, there are sometimes errors, called mutations, that can affect the phenotype of an organism
  • these  mutations can alter an organism’s genotype, though most mutations have little effect on an organism’s phenotype
  • over generations the genomes of organisms can change significantly resulting in the concept of ‘evolution’
  • in the process called ‘adaptation’, selection for beneficial  mutations can  cause a species to evolve into forms better able to survive their environment
  • “natural selection” is essentially this process in which beneficial mutations slowly become the norm in a species and non-beneficial mutations get wiped out of the genome

first cranium of homo erectus, ‘Peking man’. Note the perfect horizontal jawline

The environment’s role  and epigenetics

  • although genes contain  all the information  an organism uses to function the env’t plays a key role in  determining the ultimate phenotype the organism displays
  • epigenetics are stable heritable phenotypes that cannot be explained by changes  in DNA sequence, ie the genome is the same
  • these epigenetic changes in phenotype are due to elements of the genome being activated/not activated due to environmental/developmental factors that then result in changes in the phenotype.


So what did our ancestors look like?

  • Modern humans evolved from the earlier Homo  Sapiens.  As you can see in the above skull of Peking Man (the first cranium found of a homo sapien) you can see they had a perfect horizontal jaw line, better than any even  the best of our world-class models and pro athletes today
  • If you have a  look at the Paleolithic skulls you will  note that they ALL had perfectly straight teeth, wide arches, wisdom teeth, space behind the wisdoms,  a perfectly horizontal jawline, and amazing bone density.  Have a look at the pic below as an example.  And this wikpedia link shows a great timeline evolution of the human skull.

Middle Paleolithic skull (80k – 120k yrs old)

So if our ancestors had amazing skulls and teeth, then why would it decline?

  • Is there an  advantage to survival of not having good skulls and straight teeth?  I cannot think of any… can you?  Better looking people have an easier time succeeding in life and finding reproductive partners…   not harder.
  • So if there is no advantage to it than it would not have been ‘adaptation’ that resulted in this change.  Meaning that if there were a genetic mutation for narrower arches or non-straight teeth, this would have been wiped out by the process of natural selection.
  • In that case it must be the environment, or epigenetics,  that has resulted in this change.

What support do we see in modern society that this is an  epigenetic change?

  • Just in the last few hundred years humans have gone from always having their wisdom teeth to  this latest generation growing up where I believe 95%+ of them in  western  societies will not have space for them.
  • Just go and do some historical googling and  you will find that it was rare in for example the 1700’s or 1800’s to have to get your wisdom teeth pulled.  Did it happen occasionally?  I’m sure it did, but probably <5% of people rather than 95% as it is now with the latest generation  of kids.

a modern 24-yr old. Rapidly becoming the norm

So basically what am I saying?

  1. Malocclusion is pretty much completely environment/epigenetic
    • Rather it is due to diet/lifestyle factors
  2. Beauty itself IS PROBABLY NOT GENETIC!!!
    • Think  about it.. beautiful people are essentially the ones that have skulls that more resemble our paleolithic/Neolithic ancestors.  It is not an evolution of genetics that has made them more beautiful but rather a lack of epigenetic decline to the same degree that has inflicted the rest of society
  3. Most other things that people like to call genetic like heart attacks and neurological diseases running in the family, are most likely not genetic at all.
    • as they would not be part of the genome that is passed from generation to generation as the mutation would have never survived the natural selection process.
    • And yet these diseases are becoming more and more prevalent.. showing that they are epigenetic/environment, not genetics.


note the horizontal jawline

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