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Caries Res. 1999;33(1):74-80.

Dental erosions in subjects living on a raw food diet.

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  • 1Department of Operative and Preventive Dentistry, Dental Clinic, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.


The aim of the study was to investigate the frequency and severity of dental erosions and its association with nutritional and oral hygiene factors in subjects living on a raw food diet. As part of a larger dietary study 130 subjects whose ingestion of raw food was more than 95% of the total food intake were examined. The median duration of the diet was 39 (minimum 17, maximum 418) months. Before the clinical examination, the participants answered questionnaires and recorded their food intake during a 7-day period. Dental erosions were registered using study models. As a control 76 sex- and age-matched patients from our clinic were randomly selected. The raw food diet records showed the median daily frequency of ingesting citrus fruit to be 4.8 (minimum 0.5, maximum 16.1). The median intake of fruit was 62% (minimum 25%, maximum 96%) of the total, corresponding to an average consumption of 9.5 kg of fruit (minimum 1.5, maximum 23.7) per week. Compared to the control group subjects living on a raw food diet had significantly (p</=0.001) more dental erosions. Only 2.3% of the raw food group (13.2% of the controls) had no erosive defects, whereas 37.2% had at least one tooth with a moderate erosion (55.2% of the controls) and 60.5% had at least one tooth with a severe erosion (31.6% of the controls). Within the raw food group no significant correlation was found between nutrition or oral health data and the prevalence of erosions. Nevertheless, the results showed that a raw food diet bears an increased risk of dental erosion compared to conventional nutrition.

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