Dental Erosion: Etiology, Diagnosis and Prevention

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Dental erosion is a prevalent condition that occurs worldwide. It is the result of exposure of the enamel and dentin to nonbacterial acids of extrinsic and intrinsic origin, whereby mineral loss occurs from the surface of the tooth. The most frequently affected areas are the palatal surface of maxillary incisors and the occlusal surface of the mandibular first molars in adolescents. Characteristic early signs of dental erosion include smooth and flat facets on facial or palatal surfaces, and shallow and localized dimpling on occlusal surfaces. Early intervention is key to effectively preventing erosive tooth wear. Effective prevention of dental erosion includes measures that can avoid or reduce direct contact with acids, increase acid resistance of dental hard tissues and minimize toothbrushing abrasion.

Educational Objectives

The overall goals of this article are to provide an overview of the causes, risk factors, diagnosis and prevention of dental erosion. On completion of this course the reader will be able to:

  1. List and describe the prevalence of dental erosion.
  2. List and describe the etiologies of dental erosion.
  3. List and describe the signs and symptoms of dental erosion and the complicating factors associated with dental erosion.
  4. and describe methods for the management and prevention of dental erosion.


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