Tooth abrasion is the permanent loss of tooth structure that can occur on the tooth's cutting surface, the outer enamel layer, exposed root surfaces, and non-enamel surfaces. It is caused primarily by improper brushing - usually overly vigorous or horizontal brushing. The damage can also be caused by abrasive toothpaste, or habits such as chewing on hard objects or using teeth as a cutting tool.

Tooth abrasion is most common in people suffering from gum disease whose gums have pulled away from their teeth. The root surface that is then exposed is not as wear-resistant as enamel. If your abrasion occurred gradually, your body's natural ability to repair itself enabled new dentin to be deposited on the damaged portions of your tooth. This will prevent the pulp (the portion that contains, among other cells, the nerves and blood vessels) within your tooth from being severely or even irreversibly damaged. However, if the abrasion occurred quickly, it's likely that you will suffer pulp damage, which can cause tooth sensitivity, infection, pain, and possible loss of that tooth.

* We will instruct you on proper brushing techniques, and evaluate the abrasiveness of your toothpaste.

* We will work with you to determine if you have other tooth-damaging habits of which you may not be aware.

* Do not use your teeth as a cutting tool. Depending on your situation, we will recommend bonding, a crown (cap), or a filling to restore the appearance, strength and functionality to your tooth. A restoration will also protect your tooth from further trauma, but it is still vital to identify and remove the source of the abrasion.