Kahn and colleagues (2020) highlight the underrecognized, modern epidemic of jaw shrinkage, including crowded teeth and constricted airways, but overlook a powerful explanatory variable: our pervasive exposures to developmental toxicants. In a landmark 2014 review on environmental causes for the epidemics of neurodevelopmental disorders, which affect 10%–15% of all US births, 11 common chemicals were recognized as neurodevelopmental toxicants (Grandjean and Landrigan 2014). Of these, we address mercury and fluoride. Both are systemic toxicants… Both are particularly harmful during fetal and childhood development. Both have been used therapeutically in medicine and oral health…
… In 1999, one of us (DCK) was invited by a Shenyang medical school team to observe dental health improvements following fluoride reductions in multiple villages in Inner Mongolia. In the high fluoride villages (4–9 PPM), most children had small dental arches and crowded, discolored teeth—that is, dental fluorosis, many with crossbites and jaw anomalies—while these conditions were not observed in the medium (1.0 PPM) and low fluoride (0.5 PPM) villages…
Grandjean P, Landrigan PJ. 2014. Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. The Lancet Neurology 13:330-338.
Kahn S, Ehrlich P, Feldman M, Sapolsky R, Wong S. 2020. The jaw epidemic: Recognition, origins, cures, and prevention. BioScience. 70:759-771.