This paper reviews a series of paleo-pathologic studies made to investigate associations between dietary factors and development of occlusion, periodontal diseases and caries. The findings indicate that the change from hard to soft food, which has taken place during the last few hundred years, influences occlusion, craniofacial structures and oral health in several ways. Comparative studies show that the frequency of malocclusion has increased substantially. In the same time, a number of alterations have taken place in the morphology of the craniofacial skeleton. The results support the hypothesis that masticatory stress is a regulative factor in craniofacial growth and occlusal development. With soft food and low masticatory activity, jaw growth is not adequate for optimal occlusal development. Approximal wear itself, caused by the attritive diet, seems to be only a minor adjustive factor. Because of the occlusal wear, the crown height decreased with age and the teeth continued to erupt. As a result, root surfaces were exposed. This process has been equated with bone loss but the lack of inflammatory changes on the bone surface indicates that the alveolar bone was not affected by periodontal diseases. This suggests that the alveolar height was maintained at a constant level throughout life and no growth nor resorption took normally place at the crest. Only the exposure of the furcations increased the occurrence of periodontitis. The caries frequency was decreased by mechanical cleaning effect of attritive food but increased by exposure of the root surfaces. Furthermore, the oral microflora may have been modified by factors related to the chemical and physical properties of the diet.