Tooth wear is a complex multi-factorial dental problem. There are three main types of tooth-wear; erosion, attrition and abrasion. Tooth wear can lead to decay, sensitivity and fractured teeth. Erosion is a progressive process where a chemical or acid dissolves and weakens the enamel of a tooth. The most common Acid can be internal (stomach acid) or external (dietary). Tooth-to-tooth wear is referred to as attrition and this is worse in people who clench or grind their teeth.
Tooth against a foreign body (e.g.toothbrush, nails, pens) is referred to as abrasion. If more than one type of tooth wear is present in the same patient, the factors can combine together with the resultant tooth-wear being more severe and often more difficult to treat.