Learn More About Attrition and Abrasion With Our Saint Louis

Written by Dr. Grayem on Mar 15, 2022

Today our Saint Louis dentists are talking about two natural phenomena that affect oral health—attrition and abrasion. We’re sharing information about how attrition and abrasion work, as well as what you can do to slow their progressions. Let’s get started! 


Attrition is the process by which dental enamel becomes thinner due to tooth-on-tooth contact. While attrition occurs naturally, there are certain things that accelerate a patient’s rate of attrition, including enamel strength and bite alignment. Additionally, people who suffer from bruxism will likely notice more dramatic attrition than non-sufferers.


While attrition has to do with tooth-on-tooth contact, abrasion occurs when dental enamel wears away due to contact with foreign substances. The primary causes of abrasion are oral hygiene tools and hard or abrasive consumables. As with attrition, enamel strength and density greatly affects how quickly and dramatically enamel thins.

Protective Measures

We all want to preserve as much healthy dental structure as we can, for as long as we can. The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize attrition and abrasion, including…

  • Using products that contain fluoride, which fortifies enamel
  • Cleaning our smiles with the gentlest tools and formulations available
  • Limiting acidic foods and drinks, since acid softens dental enamel
  • Being mindful not to chew on ice, hard candies, pens, etc.
  • Undergoing treatment for bruxism (chronic dental grinding)

Now is the time to take proactive steps to minimize the effects of abrasion and attrition. Our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer questions you have about preventive and restorative dentistry. Give us a call to get started!