Abfraction: What Is It and What Are My Treatment Options?
By Stephen Rogers on July 09, 2016
Here at Greater Long Island Dental, we take great pride in enhancing the dental health and wellness of patients. We also focus on the appearance of smiles as well. This is part of our focus on cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments that aim for total wellness. This addresses problems big and small, from root canal infections to minute issues with tooth decay and damage.
That brings us to the issue of abfraction. It's something you may not have heard of before but may actually be experiencing right now. Let's go over the basics of abfraction.
Abfraction refers to small notches that form on the teeth where the tooth structure meets the gumline. This notch occurs because of the loss of tooth structure over time. The notch may be sharp in some cases, though brushing your teeth can cause these notches in tooth structure to become rounded out and smoother.
The term “abfraction” was first coined in 1991 as a way of discussing these kinds of unique hard-tissue lesions that are not the result of tooth decay or tooth injury in any traditional sense.
Signs and Symptoms of Abfraction
The most common signs and symptoms of abfraction are those odd notches that you can feel with your tongue or perhaps see in a mirror. Sometimes these notches can contribute to cases of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.
Causes of Abfraction
What's interesting about abfraction is the apparent cause of these lesions. Dental health professionals believe that these notches in the tooth structure occur as a result of forces that are normally exerted on the teeth over a long period of time.
In essence, this means that abfraction is the result of:
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
As you might imagine, not everyone agrees with these findings.
Noting the Controversy Over Abfraction
Ever since the term was first used, dentists and researchers have disputed the nature of these notches and what their actual causes may be. Some dental care professionals believe that other factors and forces are at work with regard to these hard-tissue lesions.
The debate continues, and we'll revisit the notion of abfraction as more information and research is done. This is a matter that's of concern to us, and should be of concern to you, as we're sure you may have noticed those odd notches on your teeth at some point.
Treatment Options for Abfraction
The best way to deal with abfraction is to use a tooth-colored dental filling. This will help rebuild the missing tooth structure and avoid potential problems later down the road. Since the filling is color-matched to the tooth, it is difficult to notice and will yield excellent cosmetic and restorative results in the process.
Contact the Dentists of Greater Long Island Dental
To learn more about abfraction and what can be done to improve the health and wellness of your smile, be sure to contact our team of cosmetic and restorative dentists today. The team at Greater Long Island Dental is here to help you smile with confidence again.
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