Fracture in teeth—a diagnostic for inferring bite force and tooth function

  title={Fracture in teeth—a diagnostic for inferring bite force and tooth function},
  author={James Jin-Wu Lee and Paul J. Constantino and Peter W. Lucas and Brian R. Lawn},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
Teeth are brittle and highly susceptible to cracking. We propose that observations of such cracking can be used as a diagnostic tool for predicting bite force and inferring tooth function in living and fossil mammals. Laboratory tests on model tooth structures and extracted human teeth in simulated biting identify the principal fracture modes in enamel. Examination of museum specimens reveals the presence of similar fractures in a wide range of vertebrates, suggesting that cracks extended… 

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