Abfraction: Signs, Reasons, and Remedy

Abfraction: Signs, Reasons, and Remedy

Abfraction (AF) is the lack of dental topic across the gumline brought about via bodily forces positioned at the enamel. Extra or abnormal force, as in enamel grinding or clenching (bruxism), misalignment (malocclusion), and over the top toothbrushing, may cause teeth (the outer shell of enamel) and dentin (the center layer) to put on away on the juncture of the enamel and gums.

Since abfraction may end up in gum recession and give a contribution to enamel loss or decay, it’s essential to acknowledge its indicators and search advised dental care.

This text discusses the indications and reasons of AF, the way it differs from enamel decay, and remedy choices.  

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Signs of Abfraction

Maximum repeatedly, abfraction impacts the incisors (front-facing enamel) and premolars (enamel between the sharp dogs and molars). The lack of enamel topic, referred to as an abfraction lesion, is typically noticed at the outer surfaces of enamel the place they meet the gums.

Conventional options of AF come with:

  • A wedge-like “V” or “C” form to the abfraction lesion
  • Occasional yellowing or browning on the margins of a lacking enamel
  • Flattened, worn, and glossy sections of enamel, referred to as sides
  • Chipping or cracking of enamel
  • Teeth sensitivity to scorching or chilly
  • Gum erosion

Headaches of Abfraction

Abfractions do not all the time purpose ache or sensitivity. Alternatively, in the event that they advance—particularly when blended with different varieties of enamel erosion or hollow space building—it could actually purpose enamel loss, an infection of the basis, and demanding gum loss, amongst different problems.

Reasons of Abfraction

The precise mechanism of the way abfraction reasons enamel to erode is arguable. A prevailing idea is that the strain and force positioned at the enamel via chewing, grinding, jaw clenching, or different approach reasons microfractures within the crystalline construction of enamel teeth and dentin. Through the years, this results in deformation and degradation.  

Alternatively, abfraction too can get up in individuals who don’t clench or grind enamel or have a malocclusion, main researchers to consider toothbrushing is the elemental purpose.

Fighting and Treating Abfraction

Whilst abfraction can also be painless, it could actually have an effect on enamel balance and make enamel vulnerable to different problems if untreated. Dental and orthodontic remedies for underlying reasons, and converting positive behavior can assist save you and deal with this situation.

Behavior or Prerequisites That Impact Abfraction

Abfraction may end up from prerequisites affecting the chunk or inflicting jaw clenching. The well being of impacted enamel too can aggravate when blended with different forms of enamel erosion. Components related to abfraction come with:

  • Malocclusion
  • Oral behavior (e.g., extra chewing, thumb-sucking, pen chewing)
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  • Over the top brushing
  • Pressure

A number of prerequisites purpose different enamel erosion that worsens AF, basically because of larger acidity within the mouth. Those come with:

  • Gastrointestinal reflux illness (GERD): GERD (inflicting acid reflux disease)
  • Consuming issues equivalent to anorexia and bulimia
  • Eating meals or beverages that elevate acidities, equivalent to soda or espresso

Dentists observe and assess for those elements in diagnosing and comparing AF. Treatments for related psychological or bodily well being prerequisites and way of life adjustments can all play an element in abfraction remedy.

Remedy Choices for Abfraction

Remedy for abfraction is dependent upon the severity and presence of signs or different forms of enamel degradation. Whilst AF can’t be solely reversed, a number of remedies can set up and save you it. Those come with:

  • Occlusal adjustment: Treats the misalignment on the root of AF via reshaping the surfaces of enamel to take away interferences of your chunk.  
  • Orthodontic remedies: Retainers, braces, and different orthodontic tools can save you the development of AF.
  • Mouth guards: Used to stop enamel grinding. Talk on your dentist about customized evening guards or mouth guards for the most efficient effects.
  • Fillings and restorations: Whilst AF doesn’t all the time result in cavities, fillings or natural-looking dental restorations is also wanted. The whole good fortune of those approaches varies, alternatively, and would possibly not save you AF development.  
  • Teeth sensitivity remedies: Healing toothpaste or in-office remedies, equivalent to specialised adhesives that save you stimuli from having access to the nerves, might assist.
  • Root protection surgical procedure: Since AF can disclose the roots of enamel because of gum recession, dental surgical procedure or the position of a recovery is also wanted. 

What to Ask Your Dentist

In case you’re taking into account remedy for AF, it’s essential to know the situation and your choices. Very important questions to invite your dentist come with:

  • What are my remedy choices, and what are the objectives of remedy?
  • What can I do at house to fortify my consequence?
  • Will particular care be wanted as I get better?
  • Are there any dangers with remedies for AF?
  • What follow-up is essential?
  • Do you will have suggestions for dental merchandise I will be able to use?
  • What can I do to fortify my general oral well being?

Outlook: Abfraction and Gum Recession

Abfraction lesions are related to gum recession, which will disclose the roots of the enamel, have an effect on enamel balance, and purpose ache and enamel sensitivity. The process remedy ceaselessly is dependent upon the well being of the affected gums, even in asymptomatic and tolerable circumstances.

Correcting the underlying reasons of symptomatic circumstances and recovery procedures would possibly not repair the problem solely however can assist. Research have discovered that correcting malocclusion with orthodontic procedures can forestall the development of gum loss. Moreover, surgical procedures to revive gums the usage of grafts (transplanted tissue) effectively set up this factor.      

Distinction Between Abfraction, Abrasion, and Erosion

There are 3 number one forms of enamel topic loss labeled via their mechanisms of motion: abfraction, abrasion, and erosion.


The lack of enamel topic because of abfraction arises from mechanical and bodily forces at the enamel. The pressure that reasons the deterioration of enamel teeth is interior, ceaselessly brought about via misaligned bites, enamel grinding, or jaw clenching. The teeth and dentin layers are idea to put on away on account of structural issues, taking up a feature wedge-like form.


Abrasion is brought about via the deterioration and lack of teeth because of out of doors forces. As with abfraction, enamel malocclusion or grinding can also be elements; alternatively, the main reasons are exterior and will come with:

  • Over the top toothbrushing
  • Biting nails, smoking tobacco from a pipe, or chewing on pens
  • Denture clasps (home equipment used to safe dentures in position) or different orthodontic home equipment
  • Positive enamel powders or pastes


When enamel become worse because of the chemical composition of the mouth—versus micro organism—it’s regarded as erosion. This sort of deterioration ceaselessly arises because of exterior elements that elevate the acidity within the mouth.

Erosion too can get up when you’ve got digestive problems, equivalent to GERD. The acids from the tummy can migrate to the mouth, breaking down enamel teeth and inflicting issues.


Abfraction is the lack of enamel topic on the gumline because of mechanical forces at the enamel. It could get up because of enamel grinding or misalignment and reasons a dressed in away of the teeth and dentin layers, in addition to gum recession in affected spaces. It could building up the chance of enamel loss, cavities, and different problems.

Remedies for abfraction range and contain realigning the enamel with orthodontics, dressed in mouth guards, getting restorations, and having gum surgical procedure. Whilst remedy can’t totally opposite this procedure, it could actually forestall its development and save you headaches.      

A Phrase From Verywell

Remedy for abfraction is essential to stop enamel from degrading or getting worse. Chatting with a supplier too can allow you to make sure adjustments on your behavior to fortify your results. Give your dentist a choice if you happen to’re experiencing discomfort, ache, or sensitivity—or if you happen to suspect enamel erosion with out signs.  

Incessantly Requested Questions

  • Is abfraction a hollow space?

    Abfraction isn’t the similar as a hollow space. The previous is a wedge-shaped deterioration of enamel topic because of mechanical forces positioned at the enamel. Against this, the latter is a hollow brought about via micro organism and plaque-driven enamel decay. Alternatively, together with different varieties of enamel decay, abfraction can building up the possibility of hollow space formation.

  • How commonplace is abfraction?

    Abfraction is extra commonplace in adults, with the possibility expanding as you age. Research have discovered about 3% of 20-year-olds revel in this situation. This proportion grows to 17% via age 70.

  • When do you repair abfraction lesions?

    Dental recovery of abfraction is basically regarded as when circumstances are symptomatic or have ended in cavities, enamel sensitivity, or ache, and the steadiness of the enamel is at stake. If there’s a substantial amount of gum recession, surgical procedures grafting tissues to the world along restorations is also regarded as.

Verywell Well being makes use of best top quality resources, together with peer-reviewed research, to make stronger the information inside our articles. Learn our editorial procedure to be informed extra about how we fact-check and stay our content material correct, dependable, and devoted.
  1. El Marakby A, Al Sabri F, Alharbi S, et al. Noncarious cervical lesions as abfraction: etiology, analysis, and remedy modalities of lesions: a assessment article. Dentistry. 2017;07(06). doi:10.4172/2161-1122.1000438

  2. Nascimento M, Dilbone D, Pereira P, et al. Abfraction lesions: etiology, analysis, and remedy choices. Clin Cosmet Investig Dent. 2016:79. doi:10.2147/ccide.s63465

  3. Cuniberti N, Rossi G. Abfraction-myth or truth? why some wedge-shaped cervical lesions don’t seem to be brought about via acid erosion?. Int J Dent Oral Well being. 2019;6(1). doi:10.16966/2378-7090.309

  4. Wassell RW, Verhees L, Lawrence Ok, et al. Davies S, Lobbezoo F. Over the counter (Otc) bruxism splints to be had at the Web. Br Dent J. 2014;216(11):E24-E24.

  5. Jati A, Furquim L, Consolaro A. Gingival recession: its reasons and kinds, and the significance of orthodontic remedy. Dental Press J Orthod. 2016;21(3):18-29. doi:10.1590/2177-6709.21.3.018-029.oin

  6. Herman Ostrow Faculty of Dentistry: College of Southern California. Dental erosion from abrasion & abfraction.

Further Studying

  • Nascimento M, Dilbone D, Pereira P, Geraldeli S, Delgado A, Duarte W. Abfraction lesions: etiology, analysis, and remedy choices. Clin Cosmet Investig Dent. 2016:79. doi:10.2147/ccide.s63465

Abfraction: Signs, Reasons, and Remedy

Through Mark Gurarie

Mark Gurarie is a contract creator, editor, and adjunct lecturer of writing composition at George Washington College.

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