- feature of unhealthy teeth


An abfraction is a splintering of the tooth at the enamel-cementum border (usually just below the gum line).

Abfraction 1
Abfraction 2
Abfraction 3

Reason this is not good:

As you can see from the photos abfractions are accompanied by gum recession so that the softer, cementum, part of the tooth is exposed, accelerating decay.

Possible causes:

  • Many believe that abfractions are caused by over-enthusiastic tooth brushing with the abfractions occurring in people with good oral hygiene and in the areas they are likely to brush the hardest.
  • Others see the abfractions being caused by transverse forces on the teeth so that the hard enamel is pressed into the softer cementum causing it to splinter (see video above).

Explanation of abfactions

Things that can go wrong when you have abfractions:

  • Gum loss
  • Bone loss
  • Accelerated tooth decay
  • Tooth mobility
  • Tooth loss
  • You may have been bruxing to get to this point and this can lead to other problems such as headaches and TMJ disorders

See also:


Do you have abfractions? We may be able to help you find an occlusally aware dentist.

Ask your dentist if they have obtained advanced training in occlusion-focused dental treatment!

Video Transcript

Using BiteFX to explain abfractions

An abfraction is an erosion of the tooth at the border between the hard enamel of the tooth's crown and the softer cementum that makes up the tooth's root.

As the border between these two materials is usually below the gum line, abfractions are accompanied by gum recession.

Abfractions may be caused by over zealous tooth brushing or by continual flexing of the tooth caused by grinding teeth together.

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