Epidemiological studies of tooth wear and dental erosion in 14-year old children in North West England. Part 2: The association of diet and habits.Br Dent J. 2004 Oct 23; 197(8):479-83; discussion 473; quiz 505.BD
To determine the strength of association (expressed as Odds Ratios) of potential risk factors with erosion and tooth wear in 14-year-old schoolchildren.
A random sample of 2,385 children were selected by a stratified two-stage technique based on schools and children.
Schools in NW England.
Tooth wear was assessed by one examiner on three surfaces of all 12 anterior teeth (labial, incisal and palatal) and the occlusal surface of all four first molars using a four-point scale. Enamel wear was scored 0, dentine exposure <1/3 scored 1, >1/3 scored 2 and secondary dentine or pulpal exposure, scored 3. A questionnaire enquired about general health, dental health, habits and the frequency of intake of a wide range of foods and drinks.
The Odds Ratios for tooth wear on any surface for habits, reflux and certain foods were: bruxism, 1.10; stomach upset, 1.45; pickles 1.86; vinegar 1.36; salt and vinegar crisps 1.33; brown/other sauces 1.57. Similarly, the odds ratios for potentially erosive drinks were: fizzy drinks 1.32; sport drinks 1.58; herbal/lemon tea 3.97. The frequency of intake was bi-modal with 397 children drinking a can per day and 207 drinking two cans per day. A significant number drank acidic beverages at bedtime but this was not associated with dental erosion.
Although odds ratios greater than unity indicate an association, this was not high for carbonated beverages and many other acidic foods or drinks. Examining at fourteen years may not be ideal, as the determinants of erosion/tooth wear have not acted for long, the indices do not discriminate sufficiently and proportionately few subjects have dentine exposed on smooth surfaces.