Ever wonder what that sometimes sensitive, “notched out” area in your teeth near your gum line is? These notches, called abfractions, may be caused by stress (forces) which flexes the tooth at the gum line. This can cause small fractures which ultimately cause loss of tooth structure.
Abfracted lesions are usually free of cavities and are often very smooth and shiny. Sometimes sensitive, they are usually found when the teeth are not in alignment, and particularly if there is a regular habit of grinding or clenching. The sideways forces create stress at the area of the tooth where the enamel meets the root which gradually breaks that area down. Root structure that is exposed to daily tooth brushing wears away about 8 times faster than enamel.
Dr Jay and Dr Steph monitor these abfractions as part of your dental exams (and may recommend a night guard if you grind or clench your teeth). They may also recommend covering these areas with a bonded filling material. Feel free to contact us with any questions.