What Are the Different Types of Tooth Wear?

tooth wear

Teeth gradually deteriorate across the aging process as a result of tooth wear. Some patients experience tooth wear as early as the teen years. Tooth wear is the gradual loss of the tooth surface as a result of decay or trauma. Tooth wear gradually worsens with age, so it is essential to be proactive now to set the stage for dental health across posterity. Below, are some of the different types of tooth wear.


Abrasion is a particularly common type of tooth wear. This form of wear occurs as foreign objects contact and move against the teeth. Abrasion causes a gradual loss of tooth enamel. Enamel loss results from a mechanical action aside from bruxism. This form of tooth wear is usually attributable to brushing with too much force. Those who brush too hard gradually damage the teeth's enamel and elevate the notch at the crown's junction with the root.

Those who use their teeth as tools also suffer from abrasion. As an example, using the teeth to open bags or remove bottle caps will likely spur considerable abrasion. Even using an abrasive toothpaste has the potential to cause tooth wear in time. It is best to use a soft-bristled brush and move it in circular motions across the entirety of a person's teeth. Unfortunately, plenty of people rely on a horizontal brushing technique that is overly intense and abrasive. If someone suspects or knows tooth abrasion is occurring, he or she should meet with a dentist to review brushing techniques.


Attrition is the gradual loss of tooth enamel. This form of tooth wear typically occurs from by clenching and grinding of the lower teeth with the upper teeth. The extent of attrition hinges on the pressure applied when grinding or clenching the teeth. It is interesting to note those who consume a diet rich in fiber tend to have more attrition than those who consume the normal amount of fiber. However, everyone will experience this form of tooth wear in due time.


Erosion often results from elevated levels of intrinsic or extrinsic acid in the mouth. Alterations in saliva flow also contribute to erosion. Erosion can also occur as a result of gastroesophageal diseases.


This form of tooth wear is a wedge-shaped flaw that impacts the cervical portion of the teeth. Abfraction often looks similar to cervical abrasions or tooth erosion. Once abfraction occurs, the damaged portion has the potential to become more significant with abrasion, erosion and/or attrition.

Contact Your Dentist's Office Today

If you suspect you have tooth wear or any other oral health issue, give us a call. Even if you do not have a dental problem, it is in your interest to have an oral health exam and teeth cleaning every six months. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Request an appointment in our Chicago dentist office here: https://smilesonmichigan.com.

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