What are points of teeth?

Teeth are an essential part of the human body that plays a crucial role in the digestion process.

Not only do teeth help us break down our food into small, easily digestible pieces, but they also aid in speech and give us a beautiful smile.

Teeth come in different shapes and sizes, and each type of tooth has its unique purpose. One of the most distinctive features of teeth is their points or cusps.

  • Points of teeth, also known as cusps, are raised projections on the surface of teeth. Cusps are present on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars, and they help us chew and grind our food. These cusps are shaped like pyramids and are the highest points on the tooth surface. They are made of hard, mineralized enamel, which is the outermost layer of the tooth.
  • The number of cusps on teeth varies depending on the type of tooth. Molars, which are located at the back of the mouth, have four or five cusps on their chewing surfaces. Premolars, which are located between the molars and the canines, have two cusps on their chewing surfaces. Canines, which are located at the front of the mouth, have one cusp that is pointed and sharp.
  • The points on teeth play a critical role in the chewing process. When we bite down on food, the cusps of our teeth come into contact with the food, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. The cusps also help grind the food, making it easier to digest. The cusps of molars and premolars have ridges that aid in the grinding process by crushing and mashing food.
  • The shape and arrangement of the cusps on teeth have evolved over time to adapt to the different diets of our ancestors. For example, the cusps on the teeth of carnivores, such as lions and tigers, are sharp and pointed, designed for tearing and shredding meat. On the other hand, the cusps on the teeth of herbivores, such as cows and horses, are flat and wide, designed for grinding and mashing tough plant material.
  • In addition to their functional role in chewing and grinding food, the cusps of teeth also have aesthetic value. Many people consider pointed teeth to be an attractive feature of their smile. In some cultures, pointed teeth are even considered a sign of beauty and are desired as a cosmetic feature.
  • However, some people may have excessively pointed or sharp teeth, which can be a cause for concern. Overly pointed teeth can cause irritation to the cheeks, tongue, and lips, leading to discomfort and even pain. In such cases, dental procedures such as reshaping or bonding can be done to reduce the sharpness of the points and improve comfort.


In conclusion, points of teeth or cusps play a crucial role in the chewing process and are an essential part of our teeth’s functionality.

They are also an important aesthetic feature of our smile. The shape and arrangement of cusps have evolved over time to adapt to our ancestors’ diets, and dental procedures can be done to modify their appearance if necessary.

Proper dental care, including regular brushing and flossing, is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and cusps.

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