The objectives of the study were to examine a relationship between tooth erosion affecting the palatal aspects of permanent maxillary central incisors with dietary, behavioral and medical variables. The methods included, 251 schoolchildren aged 11 to 13 years were recruited to participate. Each subject had dental impressions of the palatal aspects of both upper central incisors recorded at baseline, 9 and 18 months intervals. From these, electroconductive replicas were fabricated, mapped and compared using a surface matching technique. At the end of the study all participants underwent a structured interview that sought to assay the level of potential erosive dietary, behavioral and medical risk factors. Correlation analyses of the responses given in the final structured interview with the degrees of palatal tooth substance loss (both previous and measured) were under taken. The results showed: 1. The degree of previous erosion did not predict the level of measured ongoing erosion. 2. Brushing the teeth more frequently with fluoridated toothpaste correlated significantly with lower levels of ongoing erosion (P = 0.011). It was concluded that: 1. Evidence of previous palatal erosion did not predict future erosion. 2. The application of topical fluoride as a by-product of tooth brushing may provide an element of protection against palatal erosion. 3. In view of the lack of correlation between exposure to potential risk factors and the level of ongoing palatal tooth surface loss in this study, other factors (such as an individual's susceptibility and salivary buffering power) may well be more important predictors. The clinical relevance included: Preventive advice to patients with dental erosion should not only include the use of topical fluoride, in the form of toothpaste, but recognize individual susceptibility to this condition.
Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry Vol. 29, no. 2, p. 157-163