Preserve Your Teeth with Treatment for Dental Abfractions
By Steven Kail on December 14, 2016
Do you have a notch in one or more teeth near the gum line? If so, it might be a dental abfraction. These lesions can cause pain and make patients more vulnerable to further dental damage. At Premier Dental, we recommend that patients undergo restorative dentistry treatments to improve the health of teeth that are affected by dental abfractions. We offer treatment for dental abfractions in Jackson, TN to eliminate the discomfort they cause and improve aesthetics.
What Is a Dental Abfraction?
A dental abfraction occurs along the gum line and is not related to tooth decay. Rather, these lesions are more likely the result of abrasive or excessive forces placed upon the teeth. Although these lesions may be difficult to detect at first, eventually they are visible to the naked eye. They may also result in tooth sensitivity in the affected areas.
Possible Causes of Abfractions
Under normal stress from chewing and tooth brushing, our teeth flex at the gum line microscopically. Most theories state that abrasion and excess force cause abfractions. The most typical example of abrasion is using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too hard with a softer-bristled brush. Examples of excess force may include:
- Chewing on hard objects, such as ice, regularly
- Bruxism, or teeth grinding
- Misaligned bite
- Poor-fitting restorations
Researchers believe that these actions create stress in specific areas of the teeth near the gums, which can break down our tooth enamel and begin to damage the underlying structures.
Treatment for Dental Abfractions
Treatment for a dental abfraction is largely dependent on the cause. If your abfractions were due to using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too hard in general, we may recommend changing toothbrushes. We may also provide guidance on proper brushing. Abfractions are preventable, but not reversible, so we must do more than simply change your toothbrush.
To actually treat the abfractions, we typically use composite resin, which is the same material used for tooth-colored fillings. There are several benefits to this material. First, it is strong and durable. Second, we can customize the color to match your natural teeth. This ensures the material will blend in, making it virtually undetectable. Third, it will strengthen your teeth.
If your dental abfractions resulted from bruxism, a misaligned bite, or poor-fitting restorations, treatment is a multi-step process. In addition to repairing the teeth with composite resin, we must also take steps to prevent future occurrences of abfractions. If you suffer from bruxism, we may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from the damage grinding causes. For a misaligned bite, we may recommend orthodontic treatment. If the cause is a poor-fitting restoration, we will either repair or replace the restoration.
Importance of Treatment
When abfractions are left untreated, they will continue to deepen. This is true even if you improve your brushing technique and use a soft-bristled toothbrush. As the lesions increase, they can begin to impact the nerve of the tooth. Without treatment, an abfraction can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Contact Us Today
If you have notches in your teeth near the gum line, it is important to seek treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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