Abrasion is a form of GROOVE that is worn into a tooth. It is almost always on the side of a tooth. It is like a ditch or wedge shaped defect and can be quite deep.
In early stages, abrasion is shallow and only slightly noticeable to the patient. With careful evaluation and special instrument the dentist can see and feel these early grooves.
When mild grooves are left untreated they get deeper and deeper over time. These grooves are generally visible to the dentist and patient. Because they probably have been there a long time, many patients do not notice them.
When grooves are left untreated for many years they can become very deep, often into 1/3 of the width of the tooth. This very seriously weakens the tooth and urgently requires treatment.
Abrasion generally is caused by either too aggressive brushing, or too hard a tooth brush, or both. Ask your dental hygienist or dentist about the proper brush type and the proper brushing technique. Make sure that you use either a soft or even an ultra soft brush.
Mild abrasion leads to sensitivity to hot and cold. Moderate abrasion can lead to root canals and chronic sensitivity. Deep abrasion can lead to tooth fracture, root canals and loss of the tooth or teeth.
All abrasion patients require customized instruction in tooth brushing to make sure that they do not continue to damage the affected areas or create new areas.
Mild abrasion is sometimes left alone or treatment with a desensitizing agent.
Moderate and severe abrasion can be filled with white bonded restorations or silver restorations. Most people prefer white due to the excellent appearance. Minimal drilling is usually required.
*Practice of General Dentistry
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