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Over the years our teeth wear down. Dental decay is considered as major cause of tooth loss. However, there are other factors that contribute in wearing down our teeth.
Abfraction is a mechanical loss of tooth structure which is located along the gum line. It is triggered by occlusal forces on the tooth from the teeth touching together, when chewing, grinding and swallowing.
If left untreated, abfractions can cause pain, sensitivity, loss of teeth structure, discoloration on the neck of the tooth and possible tooth loss.
Bruxism is most common cause of abfraction, grinding the teeth place an extreme amount of pressure in the gum line causing the teeth to flex and the outer layer of enamel is chipped off.
Early diagnosis of abfraction through a careful oral evaluation and proper assessment of the patient’s bite is significant in management and prevention of further development of lesions.
Treatment of abfraction lesions can be difficult due to the many possible causes and difficulty in contributing factors.
Unfortunately, abfraction damage cannot be reversed but it could be repaired. Lesions in the gum line can be filled by composite, the material blends with the tooth color leaving it unnoticeable. However, if the occlusion is not protected the filling will come off again.
Abfraction caused by bruxism can be avoided by protective night guard and misaligned bite can be fixed by orthodontic treatment.
In conclusion, there are multifactorial causes that contribute in developing abfraction. Identifying the etiology is vital in management and treating abfraction.
Prevention is always better than cure, early diagnosis might be the key solution rather than the treatment itself. If you experience these signs and symptoms of abfraction, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rabih Abi Nader for professional advice.