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Types of Tooth Wear


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You may hear us use some of these terms during a dental check up to define the loss of tooth enamel. As well as decay and tooth breakage, these are some of the reasons why you would need a filling.


Attrition is when a tooth or a number of teeth have rubbed away because they have come in contact with other teeth. This is what bruxists (tooth grinders) often suffer from. Over time, tooth enamel will be worn away by by other teeth, which can leave them with an alterered appearance or feeling sensitive. This is why we suggest wearing a night guard or similar to help protect the teeth.


Abrasion is caused when other objects wear away at the tooth enamel. This is most often seen when someone brushes too hard with their tooth brush or uses a hard bristled toothbrush. This can often wear away at the gum as well, exposing the tooth root. A medium tooth brush or an electric toothbrush with a pressure monitor would be useful with cases like this.



Erosion is caused by acid attacks in the mouth, caused by food and drink. This is often seen on the surfaces where liquid would hit when drinking, and is caused by drinks such as fizzy pop, cola and lemonade. Cutting back on fizzy drinks during the day would be the best way to help someone with erosion. We recommend water inbetween meal times, and leaving the fizzy stuff to main meals. This will help stop acid attacks on the teeth.



Abfraction is caused by a mixture of all of the above. It is usually found near the gum line and can be caused by a weakening tooth underneath. It is often caused by the flexing of the tooth, and is worsened by the other factors mentioned above.



These are all very extreme cases, and there are options available for all of them. So if you are suffering with any of the above or are worried, get in touch!

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