Grinding your teeth puts pressure on them over and over. For this reason, people who grind their teeth are more likely to get abfraction lesions.
Abfraction lesions are fairly common in adults. Older adults are especially likely to have them. They occur more often in the back teeth, called premolars and molars. But they can occur in the front teeth as well. They appear as crescent-shaped or wedge-shaped notches near the gumline.
Teeth with abfraction lesions are not more likely to decay, but they can get weaker over time. Weak teeth may be more likely to break.
Your dentist can treat abfraction lesions by filling them. The process is often like filling a cavity. In other cases, the tooth does not need to be drilled first. The material also is similar to a tooth filling. Choices include a composite material or glass ionomer cement.
A tooth with abfraction lesions may be more likely to break. In these cases, treatment will strengthen the teeth. Some people may not like how the lesions look and may ask their dentists to cover them. However, in most cases the lesions don't cause problems. You and your dentist can decide whether to treat them.
An abfraction lesion is not the same as a cracked tooth. A cracked tooth is much more serious. Deep cracks are likely to affect the inside of the tooth, the pulp. These cracks are painful. These teeth need to be treated right away.