Can Your Teeth Take the Pressure?
You may not know it, but your teeth are like a ruler that can be bent back and forth until it breaks. Constant pressure on your teeth can cause them to crack, splinter, and break. This condition is called “abfraction.” An abfraction looks like a notch in the top of a tooth.
Your teeth are amazingly strong; however, if you put incorrect pressure on them, over time they may begin to cause you problems. The neck of a tooth, which is typically hidden by your gums, flexes when you brux (clench and grind your teeth), or if you have a misaligned bite called a malocclusion. This flexing weakens the tooth and eventually causes the enamel to break. Once this happens, a tooth becomes highly susceptible to decay, acid erosion, and sensitivity.
When we see a patient with abfractions, we have several options. Above all, we must address whatever caused the abfraction. Once we get the cause under control, we can perhaps fill the notches with a strong but flexible restorative material that is color-matched to your teeth.
If you notice tooth sensitivity, especially if you know you clench or grind your teeth, please see us right away. If our examination shows you have abfractions, the earlier we can correct their cause, the better you will be in the long run.
Our goal is to restore and preserve your dental health to help your teeth last a lifetime.