Let's Talk About: Tooth Wear

This begins part one of a series of posts about the ways we damage our teeth. Exciting, I know. It’s a fascinating topic that we are still learning more about every year. New studies are able to correlate our diets, our sleeping habits, and our hygiene habits with the way we break down our teeth. I’ll show examples of each type of tooth wear, and then talk about prevention, fixing, and maintenance.

There are three main types of tooth wear: Attrition, Erosion, and Abrasion. Attrition refers to tooth against tooth friction- like grinding. Erosion is chemical wear on our teeth from either the acids in our diet, or stomach acid. Abrasion is wear from a foreign element against tooth- often times toothbrushes and toothpaste. There is also a term we use in dentistry called Abfraction, which we have now re-labled as a non-carious cervical lesion. Simply because it's not a cavity, but it is distinct wear in the part of the tooth near the gum line. There is debate if it stems from toothbrush wear, or from clenching forces- but most of the research points to it coming from both!

Each of these can be visualized and distinctly identified. Once we determine the source of your tooth wear we can figure out what is the best way to treat your smile to return it to optimum health. Stay tuned for more details on these types of wear. You might be surprised at what you learn!

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