What is Dental Attrition?

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March, 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


Dental attrition is the loss of tooth structure/tissue caused by tooth-on-tooth contact. Although this type of tooth wear is considered part of the normal aging process, more rapid dental attrition may be due to larger dental problems. The most common cause of dental attrition is bruxism, the grinding and clenching of the teeth that occurs during sleep, usually due to muscle hypertonicity or tension. Overtime, if dental attrition is left untreated, it can wear away the enamel, exposing the dentin of the tooth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and decay.

Signs of Dental Attrition

  1. Changes in tooth shape
  2. Loss of tooth structure
  3. Tooth sensitivity or pain
  4. Sore gums
  5. Tooth discoloration
  6. Damage to dental fillings and restorations

How to Prevent Further Damage

Depending on the cause of dental attrition, there are various treatment options. Most commonly, dental attrition treatment will involve a combination of orthodontic treatment to fix tooth alignment, dental restorations to fix damaged teeth, and treatment for bruxism (e.g. wearing a night guard).

To learn more about dental attrition and how it can affect your health, please call Golden State Dentistry at (925) 705-7093.

Relevant Readings

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Symptoms and Complications

7 Ways to Treat Bruxism

Instant Jaw Pain Relief with Botox - What You Need to Know

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