Learn More From Our Toluca Lake Dentist About Attrition and Abrasion

Written by Dr. McKay on Mar 15, 2022

Attrition and abrasion are two naturally occurring processes that alter dental enamel over time. Just keep reading this short article to learn more about attrition and abrasion from our Toluca Lake dentists 


Dental attrition is the process by which enamel thins and wears away due to tooth-on-tooth contact. When our top and bottom teeth come together, the friction between them affects dental enamel. Generally, the effects of attrition accumulate slowly over time. Certain teeth will wear down faster than others, depending on how much contact they make with other teeth.


Your dental enamel can also become thinner when it comes into regular contact with foreign objects—this is abrasion. Perhaps the most common cause of dental abrasion is applying too much force when brushing teeth, or using a toothbrush that is too firm. Likewise, if you scrape your enamel clean using metal or wooden toothpicks, your dental enamel will thin over time. 

Protective Measures

While we cannot completely eliminate attrition and abrasion, there are steps that we can take to safeguard our smiles:

  • Incorporate fluoridated products into our routines—fluoride helps to strengthen and remineralize enamel
  • Use the gentlest oral hygiene products and formulations that we can
  • Try not to chew on things like ice, hard candies, or pens
  • Treat bruxism promptly to minimize attrition
  • Minimize enamel’s exposure to acidic foods and drinks—acids temporarily soften enamel 

If you want more information about attrition, abrasion, or preventive dentistry in general, our Toluca Lake dentists are here to help you. We look forward to speaking with you!