Abfractions

An abfraction is the mechanical loss (not decay) of tooth structure along the gum line.

It is believed to be caused by the forces of chewing and grinding, creating minute flexion of the tooth. Over time, this flexion, will fracture pieces of the enamel at the gum line were the enamel is very thin. Symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity
  • Gingival and bone recession
  • Food traps
  • Notches in your teeth

Abfractions smaller than 1 mm are usually monitored for any progression. Those larger than 1 mm are filled in with a white composite material. This will help prevent further fracturing, reduce sensitivity, and slow gingival recession. On occasion these fillings may chip out again due to aggressive chewing and grinding so will need to be filled again.

If the fracturing is very active or severe your dentist may advise an equilibration to help balance the bite to reduce the stress on the affected teeth.

Abfraction

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