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see teethteeth,
hard, calcified structures embedded in the bone of the jaws of vertebrates that perform the primary function of mastication. Humans and most other mammals have a temporary set of teeth, the deciduous, or milk, teeth; in humans, they usually erupt between the 6th and 24th
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One of the structures found in the mouth of most vertebrates which, in their most primitive form, were conical and were usually used for seizing, cutting up, or chewing food, or for all three of these purposes. The basic tissues that make up the vertebrate tooth are enamel, dentin, cementum, and pulp (see illustration).

Structure of a toothenlarge picture
Structure of a tooth

Enamel is the hardest tissue in the body because of the very high concentration, about 96%, of mineral salts. The remaining 4% is water and organic matter. The enamel has no nerve supply, although it is nourished to a very slight degree from the dentin it surrounds. The fine, microscopic hexagonal rods (prisms) of apatite which make up the enamel are held together by a cementing substance.

Dentin, a very bonelike tissue, makes up the bulk of a tooth, consisting of 70% of such inorganic material as calcium and phosphorus, and 30% of water and organic matter, principally collagen. The rich nerve supply makes dentin a highly sensitive tissue; this sensitivity serves no obvious physiological function.

Cement is a calcified tissue, a type of modified bone less hard than dentin, which fastens the roots of teeth to the alveolus, the bony socket into which the tooth is implanted. A miscellaneous tissue, consisting of nerves, fibrous tissue, lymph, and blood vessels, known as the pulp, occupies the cavity of the tooth surrounded by dentin.

The dentition of therian mammals, at least primitively, consists of four different kinds of teeth. The incisors (I) are usually used for nipping and grasping; the canines (C) serve for stabbing or piercing; the premolars (Pm) grasp, slice, or function as additional molars; and the molars (M) do the chewing, cutting, and grinding of the food. Primitively the placentals have 40 teeth and the marsupials 50.

In therian mammals, probably because of the intricacies and vital importance of tooth occlusion, only part of the first (or “milk”) dentition is replaced. This second, or permanent, dentition is made up of incisors, canines, and premolars; as a rule only one premolar is replaced in marsupials. Although the molars erupt late in development and are permanent, that is, not replaced, they are part of the first, or deciduous, dentition.

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One of a series of carved ornaments, typically a pyramidal shape or a four-petal flower, usually set in a concave molding band; used in the Romanesque and Gothic Revival styles. See also: Ornament
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


One of the hard bony structures supported by the jaws in mammals and by other bones of the mouth and pharynx in lower vertebrates serving principally for prehension and mastication.
(design engineering)
One of the regular projections on the edge or face of a gear wheel.
An angular projection on a tool or other implement, such as a rake, saw, or comb.
(graphic arts)
The coarse or abrasive quality of a paper or a painting ground that assists in the application of charcoal, pastels, or paint.
A paper texture that holds ink more readily.
(invertebrate zoology)
Any of various sharp, horny, chitinous, or calcareous processes on or about any part of an invertebrate that functions like or resembles vertebrate jaws.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. In a paint film, a fine texture imparted either by pigments or by the abrasives used in sanding; this texture provides a good base for the adhesion of a subsequent coat of paint.
2. A dogtooth, 2.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any of various bonelike structures set in the jaws of most vertebrates and modified, according to the species, for biting, tearing, or chewing
2. any of various similar structures in invertebrates, occurring in the mouth or alimentary canal
3. any of the various small indentations occurring on the margin of a leaf, petal, etc.
4. any one of a number of uniform projections on a gear, sprocket, rack, etc., by which drive is transmitted
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
A medically and periodontally stable 25-year-old, non-smoking male reported to Department Of Periodontology, Army Dental Centre, Delhi Cantt and presented with a previously traumatic loss of tooth No.
Loss of teeth adversely affects appearance, mastication and speech efficiency.1 Space created by loss of tooth or teeth is called edentulous space.3 If one or more teeth are missing in either maxillary or mandibular arch that is partial eduntulism.3 The most common cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease followed by caries,traumatic dental injuries and cystic lesions especially in early childhood and adolescence.4
Intrinsic source to induce this erosion is mainly associated with gas1tric acid in oral cavity followed by vomiting, regurgitation or gastro esophageal reflux.A1 Although, teeth are exposed to continuous cycles of demineralization followed by remineralization, this delicate balance can easily be disturbed due to extensive use of low pH drinks like soft drinks, fruit juices, acidic beverages, wines and candies leading to acidic dissolution of the inorganic phase of tooth and subsequent loss of tooth substance.2
Tooth wear depicts the non-carious loss of tooth tissue in three ways, which may occur individually or in combination.
Dental erosion is defined as the loss of tooth substance by a chemical process that does not involve bacterial action.1 Thus erosion encompasses different chronic destructive processes (excluding dental caries) affecting the teeth that lead to an irreversible loss of tooth structure.
Loss of tooth will also affect the general wellbeing of the individuals.
The aim of this study was to determine the preva- lence of tooth surface loss and to provide a descriptive analysis of the predisposing and etiological factors that lead to the non-bacterial non-traumatic loss of tooth structure (tooth wear) in a group of adult Jordanian population between 30-59 years.
Oral hygiene habits results in loss of tooth surface which included dietary habits brushing techniques bruxism parafunctional habits and regurgitation.9 Epidemiological data and studies in vitro and in situ suggested that out of the three individual wear processes erosion is the most common form of tooth surface loss.1011 Soft drinks such as carbonated beverages12-15 fruit juices16-19 and sport drinks20-23 showed acidic pH which causes loss of the dental hard tissue.
than females.13101619 The etiology associated with tooth mortality is multifactorial which comprises of periodontal problems caries traumatic injuries or- thodontic and prosthodontic indications; impactions hypoplasia supernumerary teeth loss of tooth mate- rial supra-eruptions neoplastic and cystic lesions.11520