Dental damage is one of the most common oral health problems. However, the causes and types of dental damage vary greatly. One of the lesser-known forms of dental damage is a tooth abfraction. Tooth abfractions can compromise the strength and function of the teeth, and leave them vulnerable to more serious dental complications, such as root canal infections.
At Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist, we offer restorative dentistry treatments to repair damaged teeth, including those affected by tooth abfractions. By treating dental damage from tooth abfractions, our Staten Island, NY dentists can improve oral functions, enhance oral health, and protect the teeth from more severe dental complications.
What Are Tooth Abfractions?
Most people are familiar with tooth decay and dental cavities. However, many have never even heard of a tooth abfraction. A tooth abreaction is a small notch that forms in the teeth as healthy tooth structure is destroyed. What makes an abfraction different than a dental cavity is where the abfraction forms, and the causes of the loss of tooth structure.
A tooth abfraction forms at the base of a tooth by its roots, directly under the gum line. Unlike cavities, tooth abfractions do not result from tooth decay. Instead, tooth abfractions are caused by excessive force being placed on the teeth. The most common causes of tooth abfractions include:
- Damaging dental habits, such as nail biting and using the teeth as tools (i.e. biting open a bottle of soda)
- Bruxism, or the practice of grinding and clenching the teeth
- Aggressive tooth brushing, or the use of a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Uneven distribution of force when biting or chewing (most likely caused by dental damage or a misaligned bite)
Treating Tooth Abfractions
Once a tooth abfraction has formed, it will not improve on its own, even if a patient determines the cause of the condition and changes his or her dental habits. To effectively restore the strength and function of the teeth, and prevent the condition from worsening, the patient will need to undergo restorative dentistry treatment. Tooth-colored fillings are the best treatment for tooth abfractions. This compound material fills in a tooth abfraction to restore the strength and structure of a tooth.
To ensure that another tooth abfraction does not form, it is important to treat the cause of the issue. Aside from teaching proper brushing techniques and dental habits, we also offer services that prevent dental damage caused by excessive force. Depending on each patient’s specific needs, this may include a dental mouth guard to prevent grinding and clenching, or orthodontic treatment to correct the patient’s bite. Our doctors will create a preventative treatment plan that is specifically tailored to each patient’s unique needs.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity when you bite, or have noticed a decrease in oral strength, you may have a tooth abfraction. To learn more about treating this type of dental damage, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists at Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist at your earliest convenience.