Many people, dentists included, think that teeth are in our mouths solely for their ornamental value and for chewing. However, the teeth are shaped for very specific purposes. The front teeth tear through food while the broader back teeth crush food. That all might seem quite obvious, but what might not be apparent is that the teeth are engineered by nature to protect one another. In vertical crushing motions the back teeth protect the front ones while in side to side horizontal motions, the front teeth protect the back ones. Nature understands this synergy better than any dentist, and when a tooth or filling interferes with this natural function, the brain tells the muscles to chew away the interference with enormous forces while we are asleep. This is why we grind our teeth in our sleep. It’s a natural adaptive mechanism that is born into every person, and it serves to protect our all important teeth.