The teeth undergo physiological wear with age, and the surface of the grinders, namely the premolars and molars undergoes uneven wear. This can lead to pernicious wear facets which produce lateral forces termed parafunctional forces. These parafunctional forces affect the attachment apparatus of the tooth. The suspensory ligament of the tooth, the periodontal ligament, undergoes varying degrees of damage. Forces greater than 100 pounds per square inch can be generated in the interdigitating molar areas. A high filling or a foreign body encountered during chewing can also cause trauma from occlusion. The tooth is tender with inability to chew on the affected side. The condition is generally reversible unless simultaneously affected by progressive inflammatory gum disease.
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