Sometimes notching can develop on a tooth near the gingival margin. These notches are referred to as abfraction lesions, and they can be caused by several factors, both environmental and habitual. Left untreated, abfractions can leave the teeth more vulnerable to decay and damage.
At our Rancho Cucamonga, CA, practice, dentist Sharon Mateja offers a range of treatments for dental abfractions. Here, we explore the symptoms and causes of abfraction lesions as well as common procedures to address the condition.
Symptoms of Dental Abfractions
Many patients discover an abfraction because they can feel it with their tongue. Food may even become caught in the affected area. Other common symptoms of a dental abfraction include:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Loss of enamel
- Chipping of the tooth surface
- Worn areas on the tooth
If you suspect an abfraction, schedule a visit at our Rancho Cucamonga office right away. Dr. Mateja can diagnose the issue and design a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs.
Causes of Abfraction Lesions
Simply put, dental abfractions develop because of persistent stress on the teeth. This can be caused by many factors, including:
- Orthodontic malocclusion: If the teeth do not fit together properly, excessive stress can be placed on certain areas. Over time, this can lead to the development of abfraction lesions.
- Bruxism: Chronic teeth clenching or grinding can cause long-term damage to your oral health. In addition to wearing down the teeth, it can also cause abfraction lesions.
- Dental erosion: Excessive consumption of acidic foods and beverages can lead to mineral loss. Over time, this can cause dental abfraction to occur.
In some cases, the exact cause of dental abfraction is not clear. It can be due to multiple factors–even age. In fact, the older you are, the more likely you are to develop dental abfractions.
Common Treatment for Abfractions
Once an abfraction lesion develops, the damage cannot be reversed. However, there are treatments that can smooth and enhance the tooth’s appearance, reduce dental sensitivity, and help prevent further damage.
If sensitivity has developed due to the abfraction, your dentist may recommend a tooth-colored composite filling. This restoration covers and protects the exposed area, making it less sensitive to hot and cold. The composite can be custom-matched to your smile for a natural appearance.
Custom Oral Appliances
When bruxism is responsible for dental abfractions, a custom mouth guard may be the best line of defense. This appliance covers the teeth, protecting them from excessive pressure. If an abfraction is diagnosed early enough, this treatment can help prevent further issues.
If dental abfraction have occurred as the result of misalignment, straightening the teeth can typically address the problem. Aligning the teeth at an early age can help prevent abfraction lesions altogether.
Protect Your Smile
Do you have sensitivity or notice notching on your teeth? It could be due to dental abfraction. To correct this issue, or to learn more about the services we offer, schedule an appointment at our Rancho Cucamonga practice. Contact us online anytime or call us at (909) 989-5959.
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