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What is an Abfraction?

Abfractions are notches in the tooth near the gumline. There are many causes of abractions that include improper forces of teeth by a misaligned bite, bruxism, abrasive toothpastes and mechanism of brushing. A misaligned bite causes continual flexing and stress that over time causes enamel to separate from the inner dentin layer of the tooth causing a notch at the gumline. Another example is bruxism which can be defined conservatively as grinding or clenching teeth causing constant unnatural stresses on teeth. A bite appliance may be prescribed by your dentist to help prevent tooth abfractions from these mentioned forces. Another concern to be aware of is whitening toothpastes. These toothpastes contain abrasives not present in regular toothpastes that “scrub” stain from the tooth. Unfortunately these abrasives are too aggressive and not only wear enamel away but also create microporosities in teeth and fillings that allows stain for come back quicker. Aggressive brushing using a back and forth method could also wear enamel away. It is very important to use a circular or up and down motion when brushing your teeth to help prevent these abfractions. If you have noticed tooth abfractions in your mouth, please ask your dentist to determine the cause of these defects and to suggest prevention for future enamel wear.  If you have any further concerns or questions, please visit our website or call our office. Thanks for reading and have a happy day…  -OF