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Dentistry Memphis

Dental Abfraction: What Is It and How Can It Be Treated?

How dental abfraction affects teethMost people can explain tooth decay and cavities in basic terms. These are common dental health problems that everyone faces. Yet when it comes to dental abraction, many people are not even sure what that term means. More surprising, dental abfraction is a common issue that many people have to deal with.

The team at our Memphis restorative dentistry practice would like to take a moment to go over some of the basics of dental abfraction, and then cover a few common treatment options.

About Dental Abfraction

A dental abfraction refers to a loss of tooth structure that occurs along the area where the tooth meets the gumline. They are typically in the form of these small, angular notches. Over time, they may become rounded or curved.

These abfractions damage tooth enamel, which means that your teeth can become more susceptible to tooth decay or dental erosion. This may lead to more serious dental problems down the road, root canal infections among them.

What Causes Dental Abfraction?

The most common causes of dental abfraction are thought to be the everyday mechanical stress that is applied to the teeth. This means the mere act of biting and chewing leads to the steady formation of these lesions. In addition, poor dental alignment and teeth grinding (bruxism) can contribute to faster and more serious formation of these lesions in some cases.

Debate Over the Exact Nature of Dental Abfractions

The term "abfraction" was coined in 1991 to refer to these lesions on the teeth. However, there's some divide about the actual cause and contributing factors when it comes to the nature of abraftions themselves.

On the one hand, you have people who contend that the stress on the teeth is the primary reason it occurs, as described above. Others, however, believe that toothbrushes and other kinds of artificial forces that are applied to the tooth structure are the primary culprit for this problem. A combination of these two may also be possible, but even then, it may be a chicken-or-the-egg scenario.

Research is ongoing with regard to these matters, and you can rest assured that we will share new findings about abfractions should they arise.

What Treatments Are Available for Dental Abfraction?

The most common treatment for dental abfractions themselves is to use dental bonding material or a tooth-colored filling to help rebuild the tooth structure lost from the dental lesion.

Other procedures may be considered to address contributing factors to the abfraction. For instance, people with crooked teeth may benefit from undergoing orthodontic care to improve tooth alignment and reduce the stress on the teeth that can lead to abfraction. A bite guard may also be prescribed to help reduce the stress on the teeth caused by bruxism, in addition to other therapies to alleviate teeth grinding.

During a consultation with your dentist, you will be able to learn about all of these options in much greater detail.

Contact Our Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry Center Today

For more information about dental abfraction and how we can help you smile with renewed health and wellness, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. We will work with you to ensure optimal solutions to these and other dental health issues.

Tagged In: Dental Abfraction, General Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.