Have you ever noticed a small, dark, wedge- or crescent-shaped notch carved into the base of one or more teeth?
That notch may, in fact, be an abfraction.
Abfractions look similar to the wear caused on teeth by aggressive tooth brushing but are caused by something else entirely. An abfraction is the result of a tooth flexing under excessive pressure over time. This pressure is often due to a tooth’s being out of proper alignment. When one or more teeth are even a little off-set, this opens them up to an unequal distribution of the bite force. Even teeth that are well-aligned can experience abfraction if regularly subjected to the excessive force of a grinding/clenching habit.
Abfractions typically only affect the enamel, which is the protective outer layer of the tooth. This means that abfractions generally do not cause discomfort. In severe cases, abfractions can extend into the deeper layers of the tooth and cause sensitivity. Although found more commonly on the back teeth, the lesion can also be found on the front teeth.
Abfractions jeopardize teeth by wearing away at their structure, undermining their strength. Teeth can break if the abfraction continues.
Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse an abfraction.
Abfractions are irreversible as natural tooth structure will not grow back. Some of the causative factors can be addressed by adjusting the bite, correcting tooth-alignment, and preventing excessive stress through use of a bite guard. Abfractions may worsen over time or not change, at all.
It is possible to reinforce an affected tooth with a simple filling. You might actually prefer to have one or more teeth filled to improve their appearance. Visit your dentist to learn more about how to enhance your smile by correcting abfractions.
Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
Are you struggling with flat, worn down teeth in the front of your mouth? Has excess tooth wear made your teeth look short or feel sharp against your tongue? Flat teeth wear down much easier than healthy teeth, because the weak inner structures are exposed. Everyday chewing and biting causes the tooth to wear down quicker than normal, also making the person’s teeth look older than they are.
Thankfully, severely worn teeth can be corrected by restoring them with full coverage porcelain crowns. Crowns are restorations that preserve natural teeth that are too compromised to withstand everyday wear. Covering the teeth that are worn down allows height to be restored to the smile and also improves aesthetics.
The color, size, and shape of your crown is something your dentist designs to look natural inside of your mouth. Even when placed next to your other teeth, dental crowns should look and feel as if they’ve belonged the entire time.
Once you’ve decided that crown treatment is right for you, your dentist will prepare your remaining tooth structure and take an impression. The impression is used to craft a custom-fitted crown made of high strength porcelain. A temporary crown is placed over the tooth for about 2 weeks, until the permanent crown has been made. At the 2nd appointment, the crown(s) will be permanently cemented into place over the prepared tooth.
If flat, worn teeth are bothering you, it’s time to ask your dentist what can be done to help. Porcelain crowns or other options like dental veneers can be ideal for correcting problems such as these. There’s something for everyone!
Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists
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