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By interlocking teeth I mean teeth that fit perfectly together in a zipper or puzzle-like fashion, but don't literally stick together. What would the problems and benefits of this arrangement be?

Pictures included for any confusion on what I mean. enter image description here

enter image description here

These particular teeth are nearly flat, likened to incisors.

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The alien these teeth belong to are small, lizardy creatures that have adapted solely to feed on a specific kind of soft fruit. The fruits are spongy, nearly cake-like in texture, and could hypothetically be swallowed whole if you really wanted to without much danger.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's almost impossible to say without more details. Could you give us a 3D view? I.e one showing the mouth-shape, the direction of the locking in the whole mouth - it makes a massive difference to how they function - at the moment it just looks like they have two teeth in total, flat and at the front of the mouth, what about the mouth-shape and the rest of the teeth? But then again, this is arse-about-face. Why not tell us what you're trying to accomplish, then we can help you get there? $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2021 at 3:49
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    $\begingroup$ How does it grind? $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Dec 20, 2021 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ The problem is that deformities in the animal are hugely amplified in terms of function. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Dec 20, 2021 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ @user6760 I would assume that it simply doesn't! $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2021 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ This question has many answers ! what kind of animal in terms of size, is it a predator, or a herbivore.. could you clarify, a bit more detail ? $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Dec 20, 2021 at 20:45

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Several animals have interlocking teeth. Sperm whales only have one row of teeth, with corresponding holes on the lower jaw. They have this so they can hunt giant squid better, since the teeth going into the holes makes it harder for the squids to escape. Gharials also have interlocking teeth, which allows them to catch and hold onto slippery fish. Any animal that has teeth like this most likely hunts prey that either has no skeleton, exo- or endo-, like a cephalopod, or is very slippery.

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I had this condition when my "adult" teeth came in; my front six teeth, top and bottom, connected exactly when I naturally closed my mouth, or in a bite. Like clippers.

The problem for me was that over the years this constant impact on the edges, many times a day, wore down the enamel. In one case, trying to bite through something, I chipped my upper tooth with my lower tooth.

Plus my teeth became painful and exposed to decay.

A good dentist corrected that for me before I had any cosmetic problem, giving me a slight overbite; it was rather expensive. But I can still thrust my jaw a bit and get that perfect alignment.

I think the problem is just the wear pattern. It wouldn't be as bad on molars, but for cutting teeth, incisors forward, you gradually lose your points and edges.

Especially if you don't constantly replace teeth, like some animals. I guess it would not be so bad for short-lived animals; if they are going to be dead in ten years anyway.

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