Tooth Wear

Tooth wear is the term used to describe the progressive loss of a tooth’s surface due to actions other than those which cause tooth decay or dental trauma. Tooth wear increases with age.

Erosion is the progressive loss of tooth substance by chemical or acid dissolution, and no bacteria are involved. Erosion of tooth surfaces is mostly the results of too frequent or inappropriate use of carbonated drinks (including sparkling water) and fruit juices with high levels of acidity. Erosion is also a problem in individuals who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Attrition is the progressive loss of hard tooth substances caused by mastication or grinding between opposing teeth. Please speak to one of our Dentists for further information if you are concerned about grinding your teeth.

Abrasion is commonly associated with incorrect tooth brushing technique, giving rise to notching at the junction of the crown and root of teeth. It will also be seen in individuals who use their teeth as a tool (e.g., to remove bottle tops, to hold pins, clips or nails).


Reduce the frequency of drinking carbonated drinks and fruit juices.

Tooth brushing should be avoided immediately after consuming acidic drinks and foods for a period of time (at least 20 minutes), as the acid softens the enamel making it susceptible to damage from brushing.

Attrition is a slow-progressing condition and many people will only be made aware of the damage to their teeth on visiting the dentist. In the case of bruxism, treatment may require the wearing of a bite guard during sleep.

Abrasion can be reduced by adopting a correct tooth brushing technique, please arrange an appointment with our skilled hygienists.

Toothpaste’s vary in their level of abrasiveness; whilst abrasives help to remove tooth stain they may also contribute to tooth wear. Those concerned about tooth wear could seek a less abrasive fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste also helps to combat tooth wear.

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