The purpose of this study was to make detailed comparisons of rates and patterns of tooth wear in 15 growing vervet monkeys raised on hard vs. soft diets. Dental impressions were taken every six to eight weeks over a four-year period. Cusp heights and areas of dentin exposure on the buccal cusps of the left mandibular first molar were measured from high-resolution epoxy casts, by use of a Reflex Measuring Microscope. Areas of dentin exposure were regressed against time (by use of least-squares regression) so that the course of tooth wear in animals from both diet groups could be charted. By use of a two-sample t test and the Mann-Whitney test, slopes of the regressions and changes in cusp height were compared between diet groups. In both comparisons, animals raised on the hard diet showed more rapid tooth wear than did animals raised on the soft diet. Analyses of other parameters indicate that this was probably because of differences in dietary consistency between the two groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas