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Notches or Grooves on Side of Tooth at Gumline (Abfraction)

Many patients want to know why there are notches or grooves on side of tooth at the gumline of certain teeth.

We call these gumline notches abfractions when they are caused by uneven or heavy forces on these teeth usually seen in concurrence with TMJ or bite disease.

These notches may or may not be sensitive to cold or to touch. It just depends on the particular patient. Abfraction lesions are usually a sign of too much stress on a tooth and can lead to gum recession, bacterial infiltration into the nerve, and plaque trapping.

In rare cases, these notches can also be from brushing the tooth too hard or erosion.

The treatment is usually a bonded composite tooth colored filling. Sometimes the bite will need to be adjusted or a bite splint worn to prevent the same forces from damaging the filling. The damage may not seem severe now, but if it progresses over time it can be very damaging so it is important to have it checked and treated.