Download Full Text (860 KB)
Patterns of evolutionary change show a marked increase in brain growth over the past 200,000 to 300,000 years, with a reduction in facial projection, mandibular, and dental characteristics. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons estimates 85% of people will need to have wisdom teeth removed to prevent complications at some point in their life (Cooper 2007). Genes that control quantity of teeth evolve independently from those controlling brain development (Main 2007). 10-25% of Americans are born missing one or more of their third molars with variation among the other modern human groups (Main 2007).
Ralph, Derek and Masters, Michael, "Intraspecific Analysis of Cerebral, Neurobasicranial, Mandibular, & Dental Integration: a Test of Anatomic Relationships among Superinferior Features of the Adult Modern Human Skull" (2017). 2017 Undergraduate Research. 6.