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Int Dent J. 1998 Dec;48(6):529-39.

Dental erosion.

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New York University, David B. Kriser Dental Center, College of Dentistry, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, NY 10010-4086, USA.


Tooth enamel erosion occurs only in susceptible individuals regardless of food and beverage consumption patterns, that is, consumption of an acidic drink or food alone is highly unlikely to cause erosion. Susceptibility is highly variable from person to person and multifactorial in nature, as are the causes of erosion itself. Tooth enamel erosion is relatively rare and is easily misdiagnosed. A thorough differential diagnosis that eliminates the many other possible causes of enamel loss must be conducted. It is important to distinguish dental erosion from dental caries. Although the end result is similar, these two pathologies rarely occur simultaneously at the same site. In cases of true erosion, the tooth enamel is demineralised by direct contact with acids, while caries is a disease that occurs by the action of acids produced by plaque biofilm micro-organisms. It should also be stressed, clinically speaking, that erosion is primarily a surface phenomenon, while caries generally begins as a subsurface demineralisation of enamel structure that eventually leads to a pit in the tooth surface. As tooth enamel erosion is relatively rare, and the result of many factors, further research is needed to determine why susceptibility to erosion differs so widely from person to person.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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