Abfraction is a common tooth problem that is often overlooked. This defect is best described as a notch or groove in the tooth (or teeth) in varying depths near the gum line. These areas are most often a darker color than enamel and can be yellow or even brown. They appear like indentations with a sharp edge and can be sensitive to cold and touch.
Those with a receding gum line, are more likely to have this condition.
Because of the slow progression and multiple contributing factors, the causes are complicated.
The causes have one thing in common - they all put excessive and constant pressure on the tooth near the gum.
Clenching and Grinding of Teeth flexes the teeth near the gum line. Lateral forces created by clenching and grinding weaken the enamel near the gum line. Any tooth or surface can be affected but abfraction usually occurs on the cheek side of teeth and is most common on pre-molars and canines.
Improper Brushing Technique such as brushing too hard or using a firm bristled toothbrush can gradually wear the tooth surface away.
Brushing with an Abrasive Toothpaste can add to the wear on the tooth.
“It is important to clearly understand the specific cause and the dynamics responsible for these defects before undertaking treatment” explains Dr. Cherukuri from her Chino California dental practice. Simple oral hygiene instructions with application of desensitizers may work for wear resulting from abrasive toothpastes. “Defects resulting from bite discrepancies will often involve occlusal analysis and adjustments (bite adjustments) and or an occlusal/night guard” Dr. Cherukuri adds.
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