Humans have four sets of Teeth – Incisors, Canines, Pre-Molars and Molars. This is something we learn in school while studying the Human Physiology. Let us now extend this lesson into another perspective.
Are Human Teeth made for Meat-Eating?
Humans have evolved over million years and thus our food habits, characteristics and physiology has changed with time. This means we differ from all the organisms around us and yet are similar to a few. We have developed fingers to grasp and hold objects like our primates ancestors but have reduced body hair as we adapted to the environment around us. Similarly, we have a smaller set of teeth, shortened jawline to help masticate the food we are meant to eat.
Every living being has a physiology – both external and internal, that supports the functions we are meant to do. In the case of our teeth, our Incisors are meant to cut, canines are for tearing, pre-molars & molars for chewing. Although we have two pairs of canines, their functionality has been highly reduced when compared with the carnivores which use them to tear and rip the flesh of their food. Many herbivores also bear huge canines but are complete plant-eaters. The biggest pair of canines are borne by the largest herbivore mammal – The Hippopotamus.
So where do we stand? Do the teeth signify our reduced ability to tear meat, thus making us omnivores?
The answer does not lie in out teeth but our digestive system. Irrespective of the teeth type, our internal digestive system has a different story to tell. Humans are meant to be herbivores and extensive research supports the cause.
Canines still help us tear our chapathis or dosais, but we sure cannot use them to catch and tear animals ourselves. We have daggers to kill them and fire to cook them. This makes eating meat easier for us and lesser work for our teeth. It does not reflect kindly for our digestive system but that’s for another time to reflect upon.
To answer the question asked in the beginning, Human Teeth are not meant for meat-eating although we have developed methods to make it easy for us. Canines or not, meat-eaters or not, take care of your teeth cause you got only one set for life (although we could help you get a fake pair later :P) Book an appointment at Dr.Smilez to get a general check up done and find out the best ways to maintain oral hygiene.