Our clients Paul Ehrlich and Sandra Kahn, DDS were recently featured on Radio Health Journal as part of our national PR campaign for their latest work, JAWS: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic (Stanford University Press).
Radio Health Journal is an energetic, entertaining, highly-produced, contemporary radio magazine that’s syndicated to more than 500 stations. Each week, Radio Health Journal features interviews with guests that have expertise and real-world experience regarding current issues in health and medicine. This week, they interviewed Professor Ehrlich and Dr. Kahn about the serious medical consequences of humans’ rapidly shrinking jaws.
Host Reed Pence also included a nice write-up on the show’s website:
3.5 million children get braces every year, and many adults live with obstructive sleep apnea. These two complications, along with several others, are all part of an epidemic that began when hunter-gatherers moved to an agricultural environment and lifestyle. Co-authors of the book Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Professor Emeritus of Population Studies at Stanford University, and Dr. Sandra Kahn, orthodontist, identify the cause of these problems to be a shrinking jaw.
About 75% of kids have alignment problems with their teeth by the age of 13, and many adults sleep in a CPAP machine to keep their airways free, because their tongue is too big for their jaws. The root of both of these issues is the fact that the jaw is too small and doesn’t get enough exercise. Over time, our diets have become progressively made up of softer foods, mothers don’t breastfeed for three to four years like they used to, and we wean children to soft foods. All of this adds up to a jaw that hasn’t developed well, leading to wisdom teeth, crooked teeth, and sleep apnea later on. Basically, “we’ve brought hunter-gatherer jaws and teeth into a McDonald’s environment,” Dr. Ehrlich says.
JAWS is a breakthrough book that uncovers a serious, mounting public health crisis: the human jaw is shrinking. Crooked teeth and crowded jaws have increased dramatically in recent decades, and research is now linking this change with an epidemic of sleep apnea, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and diminished cognitive ability.
Jaws reveals why this sudden transformation has happened, how it’s impacting our sleep and therefore our health, along with simple, practical steps that parents can take to ensure their child’s jaw develops in a healthy manner.