An abfraction is the notching that occurs in teeth near the gum line, and sometimes it is even found underneath the gum line. When a tooth has experienced too much grinding, it flexes. The part of the tooth that bends falls away and leaves a mark on the root. This is the definition of a dental abfraction.
In the beginning of early dentistry, it was the commonly accepted explanation that brushing teeth too vigorously was the cause of this condition. However, as dentists and hygienists began to ask questions of their patients, they soon found that even people who did not brush had this same condition.
Bicuspid teeth are the ones that are most likely to show signs of abfraction. This is truer for those found in the upper section of the mouth, but the markings can also be noticed on molars. The markings appear through a process where the minerals that are responsible for forming the root of the tooth completely dissolve because of being exposed to the pressures of grinding. Because of this, the nerve is often exposed, and there is sensitivity in the teeth or tooth.
This grinding can be the result of teeth not striking at the same time or a bad bite. When that bite is off somewhat, there is stress on the teeth that are involved in the area of the bite strike. The flexing and stress involved over time makes the enamel strip away from the dentin and the marking or the notch is formed that most people recognize as being an abfraction.
The first thing that must be done to correct this condition is to correct the bite. The bite can be adjusted through orthodontics if it is severe, or it may be the case that only one or two teeth need the adjustment. The ability to chew must be maintained so that all teeth strike at the same time. This stops the grinding process that is causing the abfraction. This may require that the patient attend several appointments for this to be done correctly.
The next thing that needs to happen is repairing the problem that was caused with restoration processes such as bonding a filling into place in or on the tooth that was involved in the problem. This is done with a bonding agent that, when completed, will look white and natural. The tooth or teeth will be restored to their natural color, and they will effortlessly blend in with the rest of the teeth.
This condition must be corrected because over time, the teeth will continue to erode if not treated. Once this begins to happen, decay and cavities can result. Once the cavities have set in, if they aren’t treated, the end result could be a root canal or in the very worst case scenario, an extraction may be necessary. The teeth in the mouth must all work together, or there is unnecessary wear and tear on one side or the other and many problems can be born from these types of issues.
Please call us locally in the Houston area at 713-795-5905 or toll-free at 888-790-0309, A qualified member of our staff will get with you momentarily and assist you with any need you may have.