Abfraction: Symptoms, Causes, and How to Treat
The most common form of tooth decay is called abrasion. Tooth decay occurs when acids from foods or drinks attack the enamel (harder) part of teeth causing it to chip off.
When this happens, the surface area exposed to the elements increases which results in a greater chance for bacteria growth to occur.
Treatment of abrasion depends on the type of tooth decay. If your tooth is chipped and exposed to the elements, then there are several things you can do to prevent further damage.
You may want to see a dentist if your teeth have become infected or cracked due to abrasion. However, if your teeth are fine but they have been exposed to the elements for some time, then you will need a different approach.
In this section, we will explain how to treat abrasion and why you might want to consider treating your teeth with fluoride.
What Is Abrasion?
Tooth decay begins with the formation of plaque. Plaque is made up of food particles (called tartar) that have fallen out of food during meals. These particles stick together forming a hard layer on top of the tooth’s surface. This layer is invisible to the naked eye and contains millions of bacteria.
If you don’t brush your teeth or use dental floss on a regular basis, it can become embedded in the enamel and start to decay the surface of the tooth. The longer this plaque remains on your teeth, the more damage it will do.
Materials Used to Treat Abrasion
There are many ways to treat abrasion or prevent it from happening in the first place. To begin with, you should visit your dentist on a regular basis for routine cleanings.
Dental checkups and cleanings are designed to remove any plaque that has built up on your teeth over time.
It’s important to maintain good dental hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and using dental floss on a daily basis. The type of toothbrush you use is also important.
Look for a soft-bristled toothbrush that has rounded ends. Harder toothbrushes can damage the enamel on your teeth, making them more prone to abrasion.
You should also avoid certain types of food. For example, if you have a filling that is made from silver, you should stay away from products that contain silver.
Certain types of fruit pits, such as those found in apricots and cherries, contain an enzyme that can erode a filling or tooth.
Soda is another food that you should limit or avoid. The sugar and acid in these products cause plaque to form and erode the enamel on your teeth.
How to Repair Abrasion
The first thing you should do if you think you have a filling that has been damaged is call your dentist. You should never try and fix the filling yourself.
In many cases, it’s difficult to see if there is abrasion because it has happened internally.
If you’re able to see a black spot on the surface of your tooth, this is probably just a filling that has become darkened from age and is no longer effective. It’s important to get this replaced by a professional.
If the damage is located below the tooth’s surface, it may be more difficult to spot until further damage is done.
The first thing your dentist will do is take an x-ray to determine the extent of the damage. In many cases, a filling that has become abraded will need to be replaced.
If the damage done to your tooth is significant, then a larger section of the tooth may need to be replaced as well.
While you may have to return for more extensive work later on, it’s much better to catch and repair problems early because they’re much easier to fix. If you do need a filling replaced or a larger section of your tooth replaced, this will involve local anesthesia.
You may also be given a shot of novocaine so that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. Your dentist will then remove the damaged filling and clean out the hole in your tooth so that it’s clear of any plaque or bacteria.
Next, the space will be filled using dental composite to seal it closed.
Your dentist will also make sure the surrounding teeth have been cleaned so that abrasion doesn’t occur in the future. If you were given a filling many years ago, it may have become dark and unnatural looking as a result.
In this case, the filling may be removed and replaced with a white filling material to match the rest of your teeth.
When Is A Root Canal Needed?
If the damage to your tooth is severe, a root canal may be needed. This treatment is only used if a filling won’t be sufficient to repair the damage. A root canal involves removing the nerve of the tooth and replacing it with a false nerve. The procedure takes several visits to complete.
While you may feel some pain from the novocaine injections, this should subside within a few hours. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics for you to take to prevent infection.
You’ll also need to take painkillers since you may still have some pain in the days following the procedure.
It’s important that you follow all of your dentist’s instructions so that you help your body to fight infection and heal properly. During the healing process, it will be difficult to chew on that side of your mouth, but you should find substitutes such as eating softer foods or adding liquid to your food.
Tips To Protect Your Teeth From Abrasion
Once you’ve had any necessary repairs made to your teeth, there are steps that you can take to help prevent abrasion from happening again. These include:
Brush regularly: You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. It’s also a good idea to floss once or twice a day too.
This will clean out any trapped food or plaque from your teeth and gums, both of which can lead to infection or other damage. Look after your dentures: If you wear dentures, you need to make sure you are looking after them properly. This means cleaning them each day. You should also have your dentures checked every six months to ensure that they’re fitting well. Check your toothbrush: It’s important to change your toothbrush regularly. The bristles become frayed and no longer clean effectively after three months. If your toothbrush looks worn or bent, it’s time to get a new one. See your dentist regularly: While you may only need to visit your dentist every six months, it’s a good idea to go even more often if you have diabetes or another medical condition which increases your risk of developing periodontal disease. Before having any tooth extracted, you should also visit your dentist to have the procedure done safely.
Abrasion is one of the more common dental problems that people experience. It’s important to take care of your teeth and gums to prevent this from happening.
By taking good care of your teeth, you can prevent much more severe consequences from occurring in the future.
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