Preserve Your Smile with Treatment for Dental Abfractions
Our teeth wear down over time as a result of how hard we brush our teeth, the types of foods and drinks we consume, and more. If you have a dental abfraction, you have probably developed a notch in your tooth near the gum line. An abfraction can cause pain and could potentially lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Our doctors offer a range of restorative dentistry procedures to improve your oral health. Learn more about treatments for dental abfractions at the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute in Troy, MI.
Tooth Loss Unrelated to Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the primary cause of tooth loss. Other factors can contribute to tooth loss, however. Rather than decay, abfractions are caused by occlusal forces. While the act of chewing is an example, a more probable cause is bruxism, or the act of grinding or clenching the teeth. This excess force causes the teeth to flex too much, and can result in lesions, or “notches”, at the gum line.
What Causes Dental Abfractions?
Bruxism is one of the most common causes of dental abfractions. Experts estimate that as much as 10 percent of the population suffers from bruxism. In addition to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain the condition can cause, patients may also suffer tooth loss in the form of abfractions. Grinding the teeth back and forth can place extreme amounts of pressure on the teeth at the gum line, causing the teeth to over flex and cause abfractions. Other potential causes may include:
- Regularly biting or chewing objects like ice, fingernails, or pen caps
- A misaligned bite
- Restorations that do not fit properly
How Is an Abfraction Treated?
Unfortunately, we cannot reverse the damage abfractions cause to the teeth. We can only repair the teeth. To repair a tooth with an abfraction, we can fill the lesion just as we would fill a tooth after a cavity. With composite resin, we can repair the lesion to give you a stronger tooth, free of imperfections. The material blends well with your natural teeth, making your treatment virtually invisible.
If your abfractions were the result of bruxism, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard. Wearing a night guard when you sleep can help absorb the forces placed on the teeth as you grind them at night. This can prevent the occurrence of future abfractions.
If the abfractions resulted from a misaligned bite or restorations that do not fit properly, we may recommend additional treatments. A misaligned bite can be treated with orthodontic treatment, which can prevent future damage to the teeth. Replacing restorations that do not fit correctly can also help preserve your teeth from damage.
Importance of Treatment for Dental Abfractions
If you do not seek treatment for the cause of your abfractions as well as the lesions themselves, the damage will continue. As these notches deepen, they will begin to affect your tooth’s nerve. This will cause a great deal of pain and may eventually kill the nerve. This can lead to total tooth loss, after which the only treatment is to replace the lost tooth.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you suffer from teeth grinding or clenching, or you have noticed notches at your gum line, contact us today to schedule an appointment.