Grinding (Abrasion) of Teeth

What is Teeth Grinding (Abrasion)?

Abrasion (from the Latin. Abrasio – scraping, grinding teeth) – the process of abrasion of tooth enamel. Abrasive abrasion is inherent in tooth enamel throughout a person’s life. Normally, the normal physiological process of abrasive erasing of teeth is very slow.

Physiological abrasion of teeth – abrasion of hard tooth tissues as a result of direct contact of the surfaces of antagonist teeth or adjacent teeth.

Contacts of the opposite surfaces of the teeth occur when chewing and swallowing food (approximately 1500 times a day). Teeth abrasion is a specific physiological form of abrasion. With this type of abrasion, the loss of hard dental tissue is negligible.

With age, the effects of physiological erasure become more noticeable. Due to the physiological mobility of the teeth in the aproximal region, abrasion of the surfaces of adjacent teeth occurs. In this regard, the point approximate contacts turn into planar ones. As a result of simultaneous mesial displacement (8-10 mm in 40 years of life) of teeth, there is an intensification of the contact of teeth in the approximate areas.

Causes of Grinding (Abrasion) of Teeth

Abrasive processes affect tooth abrasion, but the actual abrasion is the loss of hard dental tissue as a result of exposure to foreign bodies.

The impact of a number of other factors contributes to a more pronounced pathological abrasion of hard dental tissues. In patients under the influence of such psychogenic causes as stress, the state of affect causes frequent and prolonged contact of the teeth, manifested in the form of grinding and squeezing (especially during sleep).

Abnormally formed chewing surfaces of restorations (for example, disturbance of occlusive equilibrium, front contacts) can also contribute to the emergence of pathological abrasion processes.

Violations of the neuromuscular functions of the maxillofacial area, as well as anomalies of the position of the teeth are additional causes of abnormal abrasion of the teeth.

Abrasive abrasion can be caused by food or harmful occupational exposure (for example, coal dust from miners).
The intensity of abrasion during demastization depends on the degree of abrasiveness of everyday food. Food of the population of developing countries is more abrasive than that of the population of developed countries who consume food after cooking (hamburgers, ready meals).

As a special kind of abrasion, the effects of bad habits should be singled out separately. This concept implies frequent snacking (for example, shoemakers and tailors) or frequent and long-term retention of various objects (tubes, pens, needles, etc.) with the same teeth. Abrasions of this type are often also called Uzurs.

Abrasive processes also occur during oral hygiene. The main reason for this is the use of toothpastes with a high degree of abrasiveness combined with improper brushing techniques. The use of other highly abrasive substances for oral care (sea salt, charcoal) can also stimulate abrasion processes.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding (Abrasion)

Clinically, first in the enamel layer, then in the layer of naked dentin, smooth, flat surfaces are found, which partially overlap each other at an angle. When the lateral (lateral) movements of the mandible, antagonist teeth move towards each other, touching these surfaces. With a progressive process of abrasion, a reduction in the crown of the teeth is observed.

The abraded area is often polished and yellow due to dentin exposure. Dentin is usually hard, with no signs of caries, covered with a thin coating; gingival margin not inflamed. The premolars on the non-dominant side are most often affected due to the great effort put into cleaning the toothbrush. The dentin of the affected tooth is sensitive to cold, hot and probe examination. Grinding often results in pulp exposure and tooth fracture.