Dental Erosion and Erosive Tooth Wear
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Dental erosion, a form of tooth wear caused by direct attack on the tooth surface of acid entering the mouth, either from beverages, acidic foods, gastric regurgitation or atmospheric pollution, is in both appearance and causation quite different from caries. Erosion not only causes dissolution of the mineral within the softened enamel layer of the tooth surface but also beneath the surface and thus renders dental hard tissue vulnerable to abrasive forces. When abrasive forces are involved (which is very often the case), the process is called erosive tooth wear. Dental erosion occurs at low pH, but there is no fixed critical pH value. Erosive tooth wear is significant in the management of the long-term health of the dentition. It is important that diagnosis of the tooth wear process in children and adults is made early and that adequate preventive measures are undertaken. These measures must include general health assessment, dietary investigation and advice together with the use of topical fluoride agents. This can only be initiated when the risk factors are known.
KeywordsDental erosion Tooth wear Acidic beverages