Non-carious cervical lesions in a Nigerian population: abrasion or abfraction?

Int Dent J. 2003 Oct;53(5):275-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1875-595x.2003.tb00759.x.


Objectives: To determine the proportion of non-carious cervical lesions (NCCL) that were either abrasion or abfraction like and to test the validity of the assumption that right-handed patients cause more abrasion on the cervical surfaces of teeth on the left side of the mouth.

Setting: Ile-lfe, Southwestern Nigeria.

Participants: 106 first time patients diagnosed as having any form of NCCL.

Design: Patients were subjected to intra-oral examination followed by the administration of a questionnaire. The cervical lesions were examined and scored using the tooth wear index designed by Smith & Knight 1984. NCCL was diagnosed as abrasion or abfraction like based on established clinical features plus positive history of possible associated aetiological factors.

Outcome measures: Abrasion and abfraction like lesions.

Results: Abrasion was the diagnosis in 630 (62.3%) of the 1,012 tooth sites with NCCL that had no associated occlusal surface wear facet. This constituted about two-thirds of the NCCL. Three hundred and eighty two (37.7%) of the NCCL occurred in association with an occlusal surface wear facet and presented the typical wedge shaped defects with sharp margins characteristic of abfraction. These abfraction like lesions constituted about one-third of the NCCL. 50.8% of abrasive NCCL in right-handed brushers were located on the left side of the mouth.

Conclusions: About one-third of NCCL in the present study presents an abfraction component, and two-thirds abrasion. Although, right-handed brushers had more severe lesions on the opposite side of the mouth, the difference was not statistically significant.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Tooth Abrasion / epidemiology*
  • Tooth Abrasion / etiology*
  • Tooth Attrition / epidemiology*
  • Tooth Cervix
  • Toothbrushing / adverse effects*
  • Toothbrushing / methods