If you have been told that you have abfraction teeth, you might be confused about what it means. Tooth abfraction is the loss of tooth structure where the tooth meets the gum. The tooth will take on a wedge or V-shape, and can be quite visible. You may be able to feel the abfraction with your tongue, or you might notice food getting stuck in that area.
You might even feel worried, confused or upset about having abfraction teeth, and this is completely normal. Don’t worry. Your dentist will be able to help and advise you through the diagnosis and treatment. So, what are the causes of abfraction, how can it be treated, and can it be prevented?
What causes tooth abfractions?
There isn’t one specific cause of tooth abfraction. Although it is generally due to long-term stress on teeth. One common cause is bruxism. This is the persistent grinding of teeth, which often occurs unknowingly whilst sleeping. Abfraction teeth can also be caused by a misalignment of the teeth. This might cause them to push against each other and erode. Your diet can also play a part. Excess sugary or acidic foods could cause erosion. However, sometimes your dentist might not be able to tell what has caused your abfraction teeth. It may also be a combination of several different factors.
How do you treat abfraction?
There are various ways to treat abfraction teeth. Depending on the severity and location of the abfraction. Sometimes, treatment isn’t necessary, and you will simply need to attend regular dentist appointments so the issue is kept an eye on.
However, if your abfraction teeth do need treatment, one of the solutions may be fillings. These will help if you’re finding the tooth painful or sensitive. Especially when eating very hot or cold foods, due to exposed nerve endings in the abfraction. Your dentist will pick a colour that matches your tooth, so the filling is not obvious.
Another treatment option is to wear a mouth guard at night, which will prevent any further bruxism and stop the abfraction from deepening. Your dentist may also refer you to an orthodontist about realigning your bite, if the issue is caused by a misaligned jaw. The orthodontist may give you a brace to resolve this issue.
Prevention of abfraction Teeth and treatments:
You might be wondering whether it’s possible to prevent abfraction teeth from occurring to begin with. The answer is not straight forward. Whilst some people might do everything right, they could still end up with an abfraction tooth. However, there are certain things you can to do try to prevent the problem.
One of these is to try avoiding bruxism. This can be done by trying to relax before going to bed, perhaps by taking a bubble bath or listening to soothing music. You could also use a mouthguard whilst sleeping.
Another way to prevent abfraction teeth is by having a healthy diet and maintaining good oral hygiene. Cutting down on excess sugar, alcohol and avoiding smoking will all help. As well as, brushing your teeth regularly with a good quality toothpaste.
If you’re worried about having tooth abfraction, we recommend that you book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.