Abrasion and Recession

Tooth and gingival abrasion are defined as pathologic wear as a result of a foreign substance (Figure 9). Abrasion is multi-factorial but is generally believed to be caused by over-zealous toothbrushing. Studies have also reported an increase in cervical lesions in people who brush with greater frequency, for longer periods of time and use the “scrubbing” brushing technique.35,36

Figure 9. Toothbrush Abrasion.
Photo showing tooth abrasion.
mage presented with permission from Martin Spiller, DMD

Gingival recession is defined as the reduction of the height of the marginal gingiva to a location apical to the cementoenamel junction, resulting in root surface exposure (Figure 10). Gingival recession can be precipitated by many factors including increasing age, gender, and anatomical factors. Toothbrushing technique, frequency, duration, force of brushing, and the hardness of toothbrush filaments may also contribute to gingival recession.37

Figure 10. Gingival Recession.
Photo showing gingival recession
Image presented with permission from