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Notches on Your Teeth: What Is Abfraction?

By William Stofer on July 23, 2016


What dental abfraction looks likeWhen patients visit Dental Solutions, they know that they are getting some of the finest dental care in the Warsaw area. Offering advanced general dentistry services as well as state-of-the-art cosmetic and restorative procedures means that we can help patients have healthy and beautiful smiles.

Sometimes patient education is an integral part of the treatment process. With that in mind, we'd like to discuss a particular dental problem that you may not be familiar with: abfraction. You may have experienced it, but just never known the name.

What Is Abfraction?

Dental abfraction refers to lesions that form where the tooth meets the gumline. These lesions typically take the form of a small notch at the top of a tooth. Many would assume that the lesion is the result o tooth decay or dental erosion, but in fact, the lesion forms as a result of the forces exerted on the teeth from regular wear and tear.

Origins of the Term “Abfraction"

The term "abfraction" was first used to discuss this type of hard tissue dental lesion/notch in tooth structure in 1991. There is some controversy about the nature of abfractions, however, which we will get to in just a bit.

Common Causes of Abfraction

Abfraction is most commonly caused by the following common actions:

  • Biting
  • Chewing
  • Eating

To a certain extent, the bristles of a person's toothbrush can also exacerbate the lesions, either making hem more pronounced or rounding them out.

Tooth Grinding and Abfraction

It's been suggested that abfraction may be made worse if a patient suffers from tooth grinding (bruxism). The additional stress placed upon the teeth can lead to additional stress on the teeth and the formation of these lesions.

Treatment Options for Abfraction

When it comes to treating dental abfraction, one of the most common treatment options is the use of tooth-colored dental fillings. These will help restore the missing tooth structure caused by the lesions and prevent further lesions from forming there as well.

If the abfraction is associated with teeth grinding, different treatments for grinding may be considered, such a mouth guards, stress management treatment, and the use of more advanced dental restorations if needed.

Controversy: Is Abfraction Real?

This is a common controversy whenever the issue of abfraction comes up. Many dental health professionals wonder whether these lesions are actually related to a host of other issues rather than so-called abfraction per se. There may be plenty of other issues to consider rather than just this proposed idea of abfraction.

Considering the Abfraction Issue from Different Angles

We find this overall debate rather interesting, and we will keep an eye out for more details and changes in the nature of the discussion as they arise. Well be happy to share them with you on the blog, since knowing about potentially issues in dental health and wellness is important for patient education and lasting dental health.

Learn More About Dental Abfraction

To learn more about abfraction and how it affects your dental health and wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Our team is here is help you achieve optimal dental health and wellness.

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