Wear mechanisms in the mouth

Mair, Lawrence Hugh and Padipatvuthikul, P (2010) Wear mechanisms in the mouth. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology, 224 (6). pp. 569-575. ISSN 1350-6501

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1243/13506501JET686


Patients are now keeping their own teeth for much longer than in the past, resulting in many cases of advanced toothwear being referred to specialist clinics. A number of wear processes for the mouth can be identified. Two-body surface-to-surface wear, that may include an element of fatigue, can be identified where patients grind their teeth together, often while they are asleep. Three-body abrasion occurs because of abrasive particles in the diet and can hollow out the edges of the teeth. It also accounts for wear of the teeth by abrasive toothpastes. Acid corrosion of the teeth exacerbates the other types of wear and can lead to severe tooth surface loss. The source of the acid may either be extrinsic, from food and drink, or intrinsic, from regurgitated stomach acid. Toothwear can now be managed by sticking restorative materials onto the remaining teeth. The patients can then wear down the restorative material rather than their own teeth.

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