The Dental Blog of Bradely J. Olson, DDS

Tooth Structure Loss

There are many different causes of pathological tooth structure loss

The first cause of pathological tooth loss we will review is attrition. Attrition is defined as the normal mechanical wear from teeth contacting while chewing. Normal wear is expected throughout our lifetime. Pathological wear is present when the wear of our teeth is greater than what would normally be expecterd for our age. Normal wear does not usually require treatment but restorations can be needed later in life to preserve tooth structure. Pathological wear will require treatment if the patient is concerned about the appearance of their teeth, teeth are sensitive or painful, the structural integrity of the tooth is compromised, or the bite is no longer correct. Some of the factors that may contribulte to pathological wear include: diet, chewing pattern and tooth position, bite force, and what is opposing the tooth when we bite (crown, filling, onlay, denture).

In the next blog, we will continue this discussion with a subject that everyone has heard of related to attrition: Bruxism (teeth grinding).

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