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Managing Dental Erosive Tooth Wear: Current Understanding and Future Directions

Course Number: 517

Risk Assessment for ETW

The risk assessment should consider all risk factors and include asking patients if they are aware of any tooth wear, or have sensitive teeth. The risk assessment includes determining dietary habits; oral hygiene regimens, the presence of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) symptoms, eating disorders, xerostomia, and whether the patient is a lactovegetarian, taking acidic medications, or occupationally at risk (e.g., wine tasters, professional swimmers). Several factors influence the rate of progression and extent of erosive lesions and must be considered during the risk assessment. These factors (Table 5) include the frequency, amount, and duration of exposure to erosive acid challenges, such as a high consumption of carbonated drinks, acidic fruits and vegetables, drinking alcohol, the manner in which acidic agents are consumer, e.g., holding or swishing acidic drinks in the mouth which prolongs contact; and, having acidic drinks at night when salivary flow is low. 78-81

Table 5. Key Risk Factors Influence the Rate of Progression and the Extent of Erosive Lesions.

Key Risk Factors Influencing the Rate of Progression and Extent of Erosive Lesions
Frequency of consuming erosive acid containing beveragesPhoto of erosive acid containing beverage.
Duration of erosive acid exposurePhoto of hourglass showing the passage of time.
High consumption of acidic fruits and vegetablesPhoto of various acidic fruits.
Drinking alcoholPhoto of various acidic alcoholic beverages.
The manner in which acidic agents are consumedPhoto of young child sipping acidic orange juice without a straw.
Having acidic drinks at night when saliva flow is lowPhoto of young lady drinking beverage at night in bed.