Dental wear is deterioration as a result of use. It has existed since the beginning of mankind in all civilizations and cultures. It occurred routinely and intensely in early populations but was considered to be a physiological process. Ideas about dental wear are not as clear today because while it is less pronounced it sometimes appears in pathological patterns. Moreover, it is produced by many complex mechanisms acting in synchrony or sequentially, in synergy or additive, in patterns that often mask its true origins. In an effort to ameliorate the means of preventing and diagnosing dental wear and improving our understanding of its diverse manifestations, the primary objective of this article will be to present the principal mechanisms that produce it as well as their consequences. To organize our presentation we have adopted a tribological approach, focusing on the friction, wear, and lubrication of interacting surfaces.