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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2010 Dec;38(6):521-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2010.00559.x.

Prevalence of dental erosion in children: a national survey.

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Faculty of Odontology, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA.



To measure the prevalence of dental erosion in permanent teeth in Iceland as part of the National Oral Health Survey.


A representative, nationwide sample of 2251 Icelandic children, 20% of those aged 6, 12 and 15 year, was examined. Dental erosion was recorded for all erupted permanent teeth and graded using the modified scale of Lussi.


Erosion was not seen in the permanent teeth of six-year-olds, but was present in 15.7% of 12-year-olds, more frequently in boys than girls (19.9% boys, 11.0% girls; P < 0.001). Among 15-year-olds, dental erosion was seen among 30.7% of subjects (38.3% boys, 22.7% girls; P < 0.001). Severity of erosion was mostly scored as grade I, with only 5.5% of 15-year-olds scored as grade II, mostly on tooth 46 (4.3%) and 36 (4.2%). For 12-year-olds, 0.9% had erosion scores of grade II mostly on tooth 46 (0.8%) and 36 (0.7%). No subjects had erosion of grade III. The most common clinical manifestation of erosion was the appearance of cup-like lesions on the cusps of lower first molars.


Dental erosion was frequently present by the age of 12; the prevalence doubled by age 15 and was seen almost twice as often among boys than girls. Teeth most frequently showing signs of erosion were the lower first molars. The rapidly growing prevalence of erosion demonstrated by this nationwide survey emphasizes the need for further research into the aetiology of erosion and possible methods of preventing and treating this emerging dental problem.

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