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Keywords:

  • Thegosis;
  • bruxism;
  • dental microwear;
  • jaw mechanics

Abstract

The evidence for tooth sharpening has been examined and it has been concluded that there is no evidence for a posterior tooth sharpening mechanism which is independent of masticatory function and improves the efficiency of that function.

Anterior tooth sharpening may occur in some species as behavioural activity but it is not accepted that this sharpening is directed towards the production of new incisiform weapons as distinct from the improvement of existing caniniform weapons, or more efficient tools for the manipulation of food. Thegosis (from the Greek, thego to whet or sharpen) is a term which could be used to describe the sharpening of anterior teeth under specific often socially context driven situations. Stress is accepted as a cause of non-masticatory tooth to tooth contact as is the suggestion that excessive tooth grinding and clenching is pathological and stress related. Bruxism and pathological thegosis are suggested synonymous terms for this activity.