What is Abrasion?
Abrasion is the progressive mechanical wear of teeth caused by foreign external objects. It can cause tooth wear, ranging from V shaped notches at the gum line to the destruction of the biting surfaces of the teeth.
What causes Abrasion of my teeth?
Dietary habits which include very hard or fibrous foods. In moderation, this is not a concern, but an excessive habit of eating particularly abrasive foods can lead to tooth abrasion. Examples of this would be sunflower seeds, certain grains and nuts. Dental products come in a wide range of abrasiveness. Because exposure to abrasive toothpastes occurs on a daily basis, it is important to select products that will minimize the abrasive risk to your teeth. Examples include toothbrushes with excessively hard bristles and some toothpastes that contain highly abrasive particles.
Where does Abrasion occur on my teeth?
Abrasion most commonly occurs as a shiny V shaped groove at the gum line of the teeth contributing to a notching appearance. Abrasion associated with a destructive diet will cause a flattening appearance of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
What can be done to prevent the Abrasion of my teeth?
Prevention is the most important part of managing tooth abrasion. Choose a low abrasion toothpaste as some toothpastes play a significant role in causing tooth abrasion. The RDA value (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) ranges from 0-250. RDA values of 150-250 are considered the harmful. Additionally, use a soft toothbrush and a correct brushing technique using moderate force.
What can be done if I already have signs of Abrasion of my teeth?
Close monitoring to identify further progression.
• If abrasion is minimal, fluoride may be applied to reduce the risk of decay and sensitivity.
• Placement of a restoration in more severe cases or with the presence of decay.
• Should the strength of the tooth be compromised or an esthetic concern be present a more advanced restorative treatment such as a crown or onlay may be necessary.
What will happen if I choose to do nothing about the Abrasion of my teeth?
Continual abrasion will affect the appearance or structural integrity of the teeth and may lead to sensitivity, decay and eventual tooth loss in very severe cases.