The effects of relative food item size on optimal tooth cusp sharpness during brittle food item processing

Journal article


Berthaume, M., Dumont, E., Godfrey, L. and Grosse, I. (2014). The effects of relative food item size on optimal tooth cusp sharpness during brittle food item processing. Interface. 11 (101), p. 20140965.
AuthorsBerthaume, M., Dumont, E., Godfrey, L. and Grosse, I.
Abstract

Teeth are often assumed to be optimal for their function, which allows researchers to derive dietary signatures from tooth shape. Most tooth shape analyses normalize for tooth size, potentially masking the relationship between relative food item size and tooth shape. Here, we model how relative food item size may affect optimal tooth cusp radius of curvature (RoC) during the fracture of brittle food items using a parametric finite-element (FE) model of a four-cusped molar. Morphospaces were created for four different food item sizes by altering cusp RoCs to determine whether optimal tooth shape changed as food item size changed. The morphospaces were also used to investigate whether variation in efficiency metrics (i.e. stresses, energy and optimality) changed as food item size changed. We found that optimal tooth shape changed as food item size changed, but that all optimal morphologies were similar, with one dull cusp that promoted high stresses in the food item and three cusps that acted to stabilize the food item. There were also positive relationships between food item size and the coefficients of variation for stresses in food item and optimality, and negative relationships between food item size and the coefficients of variation for stresses in the enamel and strain energy absorbed by the food item. These results suggest that relative food item size may play a role in selecting for optimal tooth shape, and the magnitude of these selective forces may change depending on food item size and which efficiency metric is being selected.

Keywordsfinite-element analysis; Taguchi; relative food item size; radius of curvature; brittle food item fracture; tooth biomechanics
Year2014
JournalInterface
Journal citation11 (101), p. 20140965
PublisherRoyal Society, The
ISSN1742-5689
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.0965
Publication dates
Print06 Dec 2014
Publication process dates
Submitted19 Sep 2014
Deposited14 Nov 2019
Accepted author manuscript
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8878x

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