I Have an Abfraction How to Stop Them?

Hello. I am a 21-year-old female. Around 4 or 5 years ago I noticed a notch on my tooth at my gumline. I went to the dentist and found out it is a thing called an abfraction. The dentist was pretty vague though and said it was not a big deal. I don't need to get it filled, but I could if I want. Well here is where my dilemmas come in. 1. The dentist said he would have to drill or rough up the tooth before filling it (drilling is something I am totally against) 2. If I do not find out the cause the filling may just pop out. 3. I am not sure if a night guard would be helpful as I think I got mine from clenching my teeth at night. If anyone can give me advice I would really appreciate it.

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Answer: How to stop abfractions

By Sarah h
Dental Professional

Abfractions can be a result of brushing too hard, your bite (how your teeth come together), and clenching or grinding.Be sure you are using a soft bristle tooth brush and are not applying too much pressure.  If you are pressing too hard, the bristles will fray easily, and you can mechanically breakdown the protective enamel layer.   If your teeth are not in the proper alignment, it can cause flexion of the tooth and over time small pieces of enamel fleck off creating a notch in the top of the tooth closest to the gingival margin.  Clear aligner therapy is a great way to correct and prevent further damage from taking place on surrounding teeth.   Grinding and clenching can also create abfractions, a night guard can protect your teeth however it will not reverse the damage that has taken place.  Once the abfraction reaches a certain depth, it is necessary to place a protective bonded layer over it to prevent caries.  The exposed layer is dentin which is not as strong as the enamel layer that is chipped away. 

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