Our O’Fallon Dentist Shares Information About Attrition and Abrasion

Written by Dr. Brace on Mar 15, 2022

You may not know it, but you’re dealing with dental attrition and abrasion all the time. These two phenomena affect the way your smile looks and feels over time. Our O’Fallon dentists have put together this short overview on the basics attrition and abrasion (as well as what you can do about them), so keep reading to learn more!


Attrition is a natural process that occurs when dental enamel wears away from tooth-on-tooth contact. Our top and bottom teeth come into contact thousands of times a day, and over time the effects of this contact compounds. If you suffer from bruxism (chronic dental grinding) you are likely to notice the effects of attrition even faster.


Abrasion also refers to tooth wear, but this type of deterioration is caused by outside forces, rather than other teeth. Scraping your teeth with metal and plastic toothpicks, for example, can accelerate rates of abrasion. Perhaps the leading cause of abrasion, however, is brushing too vigorously or with a toothbrush that is too firm.

Protective Measures

The goal of preventive treatment is to maintain as much healthy dental enamel and tooth structure as possible, for as long as possible. Remember, once your enamel wears away, it does not regenerate, so preservation is key. You can…

  • Limit your smile’s exposure to acidic substances, as acid softens dental enamel
  • Rinse your mouth regularly to promote enamel remineralization
  • Choose gentle oral hygiene tools and formulations
  • Treat bruxism before it causes too much damage
  • Incorporate fluoride into your hygiene routine, as fluoride strengthens enamel

A proper at-home oral hygiene plan, combined with high-quality professional care, will help you minimize the effects of attrition and abrasion as time goes on. Our O’Fallon dentists are always available to give you more information and support—just give us a call to get started!