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Clin Oral Investig. 2008 Mar;12 Suppl 1:S41-9. doi: 10.1007/s00784-007-0175-3. Epub 2008 Jan 29.

How valid are current diagnostic criteria for dental erosion?

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Department of Conservative and Preventive Dentistry, Dental Clinic of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany.


In principle, there is agreement about the clinical diagnostic criteria for dental erosion, basically defined as cupping and grooving of the occlusal/incisal surfaces, shallow defects on smooth surfaces located coronal from the enamel-cementum junction with an intact cervical enamel rim and restorations rising above the adjacent tooth surface. This lesion characteristic was established from clinical experience and from observations in a small group of subjects with known exposure to acids rather than from systematic research. Their prevalence is higher in risk groups for dental erosion compared to subjects not particularly exposed to acids, but analytical epidemiological studies on random or cluster samples often fail to find a relation between occurrence or severity of lesions and any aetiological factor. Besides other aspects, this finding might be due to lack of validity with respect to diagnostic criteria. In particular, cupping and grooving might be an effect of abrasion as well as of erosion and their value for the specific diagnosis of erosion must be doubted. Knowledge about the validity of current diagnostic criteria of different forms of tooth wear is incomplete, therefore further research is needed.

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