Tooth Abrasion and Tooth Erosion

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What Is Tooth Abrasion and Tooth Erosion?

Abrasion and erosion are two types of damage that can wear away the tooth’s outer covering, the enamel. Sometimes they also affect deeper parts of the tooth.
  • Abrasion is the loss of tooth structure due to mechanical forces from a foreign element. It is caused by something rubbing or scraping against the teeth. Brushing too hard is a common cause of abrasion. Toothpicks can cause abrasion. So can partial dentures or retainers that you can remove.
  • Acid Erosion also known as dental erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth structure due to chemical dissolution of acids that are not of bacterial origin. It is generally a chronic disease of children between the ages of 5 and 17 Usually the acids are in citrus fruits and other foods. Stomach acids can also cause erosion if they come up into the throat and mouth. This problem is called acid reflux. People with an eating disorder can get tooth erosion because of repeated vomiting. Even the chlorine and other chemicals in a swimming pool can cause erosion over time in the tooth.


Toothbrush abrasion causes V-shaped mark in the lower part of the teeth, near the gumline. It appears as a shiny surface rather than a curious one. The most common symptoms for tooth abrasion is an increase in dental sensitivity due to the major loss of enamel. Tooth erosion looks different from abrasion. Erosion leaves a smooth, scooped out area on the tooth surface. The problem may be worse if the dentin under the enamel is exposed. Dentin protects the innermost part of the tooth, the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels.


Our dentist will examine your teeth to see if you have tooth abrasion or erosion. Sometimes they are diagnosed after the teeth become sensitive due to temperature or sweet foods.


dental erosion
To help prevent tooth abrasion and erosion:
  • Avoid having acidic food and drinks
  • Do not press the tooth brush very hard while brushing your teeth. Try using a soft bristled toothbrush.
  • Use dental floss and toothpicks properly.
  • If you don’t know the proper techniques, visit Sabka dentist, the doctors will teach you the right brushing techniques.


Treatment for erosion and abrasion depends on how bad the damage is. If you have a large defect, you’ll likely want to have the tooth fixed. If there is little damage, and your tooth is not sensitive, you may not need treatment. For sensitive teeth, your dentist may recommend a fluoride gel or rinse to use at home. If you need your teeth fixed, your dentist will use a tooth-colored material to replace the area that has worn away. Two types of materials are used:
  • Composites (resin fillings)
  • Glass ionomers
  • Your dentist or dental hygienist may also apply a fluoride varnish to the teeth.
In case of severe damage, that is when the notch reaches the pulp, a root canal treatment is advised. In cases of erosion, one must correct the underlying disease, modify the pH of the food and beverages or change lifestyle. Use of soft-bristled toothpaste and avoiding brushing immediately after consuming acidic drinks also helps prevent erosion. One must only drink these drinks with a straw. The use of neutralizing agents such as antacid tablets in case of reflux and dentin bonding agents applied to areas of exposed dentin also gives some relief.

When To Call a Professional

Tooth Abrasion and Tooth Erosion
If you notice any notches or scooped-out areas on your teeth, talk to your dentist. Also call if your teeth feel sensitive. The sooner the problem is found, the sooner the damage can be halted.


The prognosis is excellent if the problem is caught early, and the cause is eliminated. If the process is allowed to continue, it can damage the center of the tooth, the pulp. The more damage is done, the more work will be needed to correct the problem.

Expert's Opinion

    • Dr. Reena Waghela Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “Tooth erosion is progressive loss of substance by chemical or acid dissolution.”
    • Dr. Priyanka Shingore Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “Usual causes of tooth erosion includes frequent use of carbonated drinks, acidic fruit drinks, soda, etc.”
    • Dr. Rupali Gujar Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “Abrasion is progressive loss of hard tooth substance caused by mechanical actions other than mastication or tooth-to-tooth contacts. Faulty toothbrushing, contact with foreign substances(opening bottle top with teeth), etc. are responsible.”
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