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Avoiding Dental Abrasions

Published on Nov 28, 2016 and last reviewed on Nov 08, 2021   -  2 min read


After reaching about 35-40 years of age, many people see a large concavity on the outer side of premolar and canine teeth which involves sensitivity, discoloration and sometimes pain. It is completely avoidable if we adapt a proper brushing habit.

Avoiding Dental Abrasions

Cervical abrasions are seen as deep concavities on the buccal side (outer side of the teeth facing the lips and the cheek) of upper and lower teeth near the gingiva. It is mostly seen in canines, premolars and sometimes involving the first molars too. They usually occur due to our intensive brushing habit where we just grind our brush against the teeth so roughly that along with some plaque and debris we lose the microscopic layer of enamel too. Hence dental abrasions lead to teeth sensitivity (teeth sensitivity might be due to dental erosions also).

Main Causes of Cervical Abrasion

Vigorous and horizontal motion of brushing causing more abrasion of enamel and loss of enamel and dentin, rather than cleansing of teeth.

Using toothbrush with hard bristles thinking that it results in faster cleaning.

Using very old toothbrush with bristles that get hardened overtime due to reaction to the various chemicals present in the oral cavity along with toothpaste.

Brushing properly for more than two times does not serve much help in preventing cavities and periodontal problem, on the other hand it increases the abrasion of the teeth.

Brushing for a long time (more than 3-5 minutes at a time) does you more harm than help. Because, along with removal of plaque from your teeth, it may also result in abrasion of the enamel and dentin at a microscopic level, that you may not even notice for many years.

Treatment of Dental Cervical Abrasions

In cases where the lesion has extended only upto the enamel, no treatment is required. Proper brushing techniques is sufficient enough.

Glass ionomer cement or composite restoration (any tooth colored material with high strength is fine) which could fill the cavity and provide good aesthetics.

If the Gum is visible and creates severe pain and sensitivity,Root Canal treatment(RCT) is prescribed.

Prevention of Cervical Abrasions

Use a vertical or circular motion while brushing and avoid horizontal motion completely. This would reduce the impact on the cervical area of the teeth and will result in slow remineralization of the lost dentin surface.

Change your toothbrush once in every 3 months because, after sometime the bristles get stiffened due to daily wear and tear along with numerous chemicals acting on it while brushing.

Do not use tooth powder since it has more abrasive nature compared to toothpaste.

Make night time brushing compulsory and use mouthwash for bad breath in the morning.

Use toothbrushes with soft or ultra soft bristles because, hard brushes have more friction and abrasive capacity than the softer ones.

Consult a dentist online for queries regarding dental abrasions -->


Frequently Asked Questions


How Is Dental Abrasion Treated?

The treatment options for dental abrasion are:
- Fillings to relieve tooth sensitivity.
- Mouthguard to prevent grinding of teeth in the night.
- Toothpaste to cure tooth sensitivity and abrasion.
- Orthodontic treatment to realign the bite, which helps to prevent future damage, especially in younger people.


Can Dental Abrasion Be Fixed?

Dental abrasions can be fixed using bonding procedures or tooth restorations with composites or tooth-colored filling materials. The dentist will fill the groove formed where the tooth meets the gum by using a porcelain filling. This filling will cover up the pocket and keep bacteria and food debris from entering it. There is no need for any crown or bridges.


What Is an Abrasion in the Field of Dentistry?

Abrasion is the wear or loss of a tooth structure that occurs due to a constant frictional mechanical process from a foreign element, usually near the neck of the tooth, known as cervical abrasion.


How Does Tooth Abrasion Look Like?

Abrasion usually looks like a wedge or V-shaped indentation of the tooth at the cervical margin, caused by excessive lateral pressure while toothbrushing. The surface is shiny rather than carious, and sometimes the ridge is intense that even the pulp chamber is seen.


How Long Will It Take For the Mouth to Heal After a Filling?

Most fillings heal quickly without any problem. After the filling, the tooth may feel a little sensitive, but this usually goes away in a day or two. Sensitivity from a tooth filling must go away within two to four weeks. But if it does not go away or lasts for longer than four weeks, do not delay contacting your dentist.


Will There Be a Pain in Surface Fillings?

It is common to have pain or sensitivity after a filling. It is where the dentist will poke around and do drilling in the tooth. Usually, any discomfort will fade after a day or two.


Can the Teeth Heal On Their Own From Cavities?

Yes, in some cavities under ideal oral circumstances, when the saliva contains proper pH, minerals like calcium and phosphorus come in contact with the teeth, there will be an exchange of minerals, and these minerals then bond with the enamel repair deficiencies.


What Causes Dental Abrasion?

Dental abrasion results from a constant external mechanical action on the teeth, removing the enamel from the tooth. This also occurs when acids in food or from the stomach dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth.


Why Is Tooth Abrasion Common in Older People?

Tooth abrasion in older adults is most commonly seen on the cervical region labially, which can be due to toothbrush abrasion, the denture worn by the older individuals, and the aging factor.


Where Does the Abrasion Develop On a Tooth?

Abrasion develops on the cervical region located in the neck of the tooth, specifically in the cervical third, including the proximal, vestibular, lingual, or palatal surfaces of the teeth.


How Severe Is Tooth Abrasion?

Tooth abrasion is severe because it can cause:
1. Sensitivity.
2. Carious lesion.
3. Aesthetically unpleasant appearance.
4. Arresting the progression of the lesion.
5. Risk of pulpal exposure if the lesion is deep and severe enough.
6. Interfere with the retention of a removable appliance like a denture.
7. The overall integrity of the tooth structure is compromised.


Can Improper Brushing Cause Tooth Abrasion?

Aggressive brushing of teeth using incorrect tooth brushing techniques, abrasive toothpaste, or hard-bristled toothbrushes can give too much pressure by damaging the tooth and gum tissues and bring toothbrush abrasion.

Last reviewed at:
08 Nov 2021  -  2 min read




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