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What is Dental Attrition?

Posted on 5/10/2021 by Dr. David Welton
What is Dental Attrition?Teeth can wear down because of friction. This friction is defined as dental attrition. The following information gives you further details about dental attrition and how it is diagnosed.

Dental Wear and Friction

When teeth rub together, it causes friction. This friction can cause wear to the biting surfaces of the teeth. While dental attrition is normally attributed to aging, it can also result from dental diseases or how a person eats.

Bruxism and Attrition

Bruxism, which is characterized by clenching and grinding of the teeth, is one of the biggest reasons for attrition. The activity can lead to tooth wear, as well as jaw pain, dental cracks and chips, and broken teeth and fillings. Most attrition takes place while a patient is sleeping, whether or not they have bruxism. Enamel wear, due to attrition, is made worse if the patient has dry mouth, or an inadequate saliva flow. Dry mouth may be caused by disease, certain medicines, or from excess drinking or smoking.

Determining the Amount of Attrition

We give a measurement to the amount of dental attrition we find. For example, we assign an attrition score of 0 if we find no attrition present. A score of 1 is given for a small amount of physiological enamel wear. A score of 2 denotes a large amount of enamel wear, which is accelerated, where the dentin is not exposed. A rating of 3 indicates that a large amount of enamel has worn down and the dentin is visible. About one-third of the crown has worn down and has been affected. Any rating of 4 reveals that over one-third of the crown has been lost to dental erosion and wear.

Do you believe you have a problem with dental attrition? If so, we can help you fix the damage or prevent further wear to the teeth. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for an exam. During the appointment, we will air dry the teeth and carefully inspect them under a direct or reflected light. By taking images, we can also make comparisons over time. Give us a call today for further details.
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