Wear and Tear (Attrition and Abrasion)

Attrition is the damage of tooth surface caused by tooth to tooth grinding and clenching. As teeth are rubbed against each other, you wear down your teeth. Similar to when you rub two stones together, powder is formed and the stone is worn. So it is important that your do not grind or clench your teeth unnecessarily. Some persons grind their teeth when sleeping or stressed, these persons should use an occlusal spint (similar to a mouth guard) to protect their teeth.

Occlusal Splints look like mouthguards, they are worn to sleep and help prevent damage to tooth surfaces caused by grinding or clenching our teeth when we sleep. Just like restless leg syndrome, many people have active jaw muscles in their sleep, which lead to clenching and grinding.Your partner may report hearing teeth grinding sounds or you may wake in the morning with sore facial muscles or teeth. Best to have your dentist assess the level of tooth wear and he/she may recommend use of an occlusal splint. Occlusal splints are also used in the relief of temporomandibular joint (Jaw joint) pain.


Abrasion is when the tooth surface is damaged by a foreign object, usually a tooth brush. It is recommended you use soft or extra soft toothbrushes. Many people use Medium bristle toothbrushes because they polish the teeth and make the teeth feel smoother and cleaner. Long term this does damage to your teeth, and in many persons who brush aggressively damage is visible on the sides of the teeth. Usually right side of the upper right teeth, on right handed individuals.