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J Dent. 2010 Nov;38(11):892-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2010.08.001. Epub 2010 Aug 7.

Relationship between dental erosion and respiratory symptoms in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

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Department of Endodontics and Periodontics, School of Stomatology, Shandong University, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine, Jinan 250012, China.



Both dental erosion and respiratory symptoms are extra-oesophageal manifestations of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of this study was to determine whether dental erosion was correlated with respiratory symptoms in GERD patients.


88 GERD patients were recruited and assigned to three groups mainly according to the frequency of respiratory symptoms: Group I: never; Group II: occasional (1-2 days a week or less); Group III: frequent (3-5 days a week or more). All patients underwent medical evaluations, including medical history, questionnaire answering and alimentary tract examinations. Dental examinations were carried out on these patients and 36 healthy controls. Dental erosions were measured by modified method of Smith and Knight Tooth Wear Index (TWI). Location and severity of dental erosion were recorded.


The prevalence of dental erosion in Group III (64.52%) was higher (p<0.05) than that in Groups I (36.67%) and II (44.44%). GERD patients were presented with dental erosion with TWI scores ranging from 1 to 4. Though proportion of dental erosion with Score 2 (7/20) in Group III was higher than that in Group I (2/11) and Group II (3/12), there was no statistical significance in the proportions of erosion scores among three patient groups. Correlation coefficient between airway symptoms and scores of dental erosion was 0.231 (p<0.05). Palatal erosion of upper incisor was seen in 8 persons (72.7%) in Group I, 9 persons (75%) in Group II and 16 persons (80%) in Group III (p>0.05). Labial erosion of upper incisors was found in 1 person in Groups I and II respectively and 4 persons in Group III. All patients with labial erosion on upper incisors had palatal erosion, except 1 patient in Group III.


In GERD patients, dental erosions are more prevalent in patients with frequent respiratory symptoms than those in patients with occasional and without respiratory symptoms. Palatal erosion of upper incisor is the main manifestation in patients. Acid reflux is the main causative factor of dental erosion in GERD patients with airway symptoms.

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