Cavities of non-carious origin. What can cause tooth damage?
The most common cause of damage to the hard tissues of a tooth is tooth decay, but damage may also have a mechanical or chemical basis. Under the influence of daily processes in the oral cavity, the tooth structure may be irreversibly damaged.
Causes of tooth damage
Cavities of non-carious origin occur at any age and, although they are not the result of bacteria, treatment is recommended. If left untreated, they can lead to tooth sensitivity and even pulp disease and serious damage to the crown.
Such cavities can be caused by factors such as:
- incorrect tooth brushing,
- poor nutrition,
- acidic products consumed in excess
- past or present illnesses.
Types of non-carious cavities
Cavities of noncarious origin can be physiological or pathological. With regard to the process of formation, they are divided into the following types:
- attrition - The gradual loss of hard tooth tissue, or abrasion, resulting from the force of chewing. This is a natural process associated with ageing, but can also occur to a greater extent as a result of a disorder called bruxism (teeth grinding). It involves the chewing surfaces of molars and the edges of incisor teeth;
- erosion - The loss of hard tissue occurs due to acidic agents (acidic foods, drinks, drugs) and due to qualitative changes in saliva (low pH, gastro-oesophageal reflux and other gastrointestinal diseases causing vomiting). Hence, the main causes of erosion can be of exogenous or endogenous origin. The damage usually involves the inner surface of the anterior teeth;
- abrasion - cavities caused by mechanical abrasion of the tooth surface. They are mainly caused by incorrect brushing (use of the horizontal technique only and too hard a toothbrush) and the use of inappropriate (highly abrasive) toothpastes, as well as strongly pressing prosthetic brackets. Damage includes the cervical area of the buccal surfaces of the teeth;
- abfraction - Damage to the hard tissue in the cervical region caused by occlusal loads that place excessive tension on the tooth in the gingival area. Damage may be caused by prosthetically unfilled missing teeth, malocclusion or bruxism. Lesions occur first in the enamel and then in the dentin within the neck;
- demastication - the cause of damage to the hard tissues is the contact between opposing teeth during chewing of food (especially hard food, which causes even greater changes). Lesions occur on the chewing surfaces and incisal edges of the teeth.
- resorption - is the loss of dentin, root cement or alveolar bone. The cause of damage can be trauma or infection (often following trauma);
Enamel hypoplasia - is a developmental defect causing a reduction in the enamel layer. It is often caused by diseases of the digestive system, thyroid, pituitary, pancreas, as well as deficiencies of calcium, fluoride, phosphorus, magnesium, protein and vitamins. Enamel reduction can also be a consequence of past illnesses (measles, smallpox, rubella) and high fever.
When a noncarious cavity is found, it is very important to determine the cause of the damage and to eliminate the causative factor. Depending on the type of cavity, an appropriate treatment method is determined - including restorative treatment to replace the damage.