Erosive tooth wear: Diagnosis, risk factors and prevention

Adrian Lussi, Elmar Hellwig, Domenick Zero, Thomas Jaeggi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

90 Scopus citations


Purpose: To provide an overview on diagnosis, risk factors and prevention of erosive tooth wear, which is becoming an increasingly important factor when considering the long term health of the dentition. Results: Awareness of dental erosion by the public is still not widespread due to the cryptic nature of this slowly progressing condition. Smooth silky-glazed appearance with the absence of perikymata and intact enamel along the gingival margin, with cupping and grooving on occlusal surfaces are some typical signs of enamel erosion. In later stages, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the influences of erosion, attrition or abrasion during a clinical examination. Biological, behavioral and chemical factors all come into play, which over time, may either wear away the tooth surface, or potentially protect it. In order to assess the risk factors, patient should record their dietary intake for a distinct period of time. Based on these analyses, an individually tailored preventive program may be suggested to patients. It may comprise dietary advice, optimization of fluoride regimes, stimulation of salivary flow rate, use of buffering medicaments and particular motivation for non-destructive tooth brushing habits. The frequent use of fluoride gel and fluoride mouthrinse in addition to fluoride toothpaste offers the opportunity to minimize abrasion of tooth substance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-325
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of dentistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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    Lussi, A., Hellwig, E., Zero, D., & Jaeggi, T. (2006). Erosive tooth wear: Diagnosis, risk factors and prevention. American journal of dentistry, 19(6), 319-325.