The cementoenamel junction refers to the area where enamel merges into cementum. Enamel is built like a crystal, and its prisms are arranged in a certain geometric pattern, making it the hardest substance in our body. At the junction of enamel and cementum, however, this geometry dissolves, forming weak points in the enamel. Furthermore, this area is frequently exposed to strain during chewing motions. If the strain is too much because of tooth malalignment and/or the enamel itself is very weak because of an individual enamel prism anomaly, parts of the tooth surface can chip or break off from the neck area. A small wedge-shaped defect is the consequence.
Wedge-shaped defects can often reveal information about the kind of trauma that has been suffered. Wide, extensive defects are usually the consequence of incorrect brushing techniques, whereas small, irregular, slit-shaped defects tend to indicate tooth structure anomalies with abnormal axial strain. If the two factors are combined, wider slit-shaped defects are the consequence after a number of years. Although using a toothbrush is essential for oral hygiene, it can also cause damage if not handled correctly. Another cause for tooth neck defects may be incorrect flossing. If floss is placed around the tooth and moved back and forth, it will cut into the tooth after a while. The result is a smooth slit.
Tooth neck defects should be treated by smoothening the broken or chipped enamel and filling the defect with special materials. In extreme cases, root canal treatment may be required. Additionally, the triggering cause must also be treated; e.g., the brushing technique should be changed or the bite should be corrected. Video about Tooth Neck DefectsTooth Neck Defect