To find out if dental erosion is more frequent nowadays, the objective was to compare the prevalence and severity of dental erosion among 16–18 year-olds in Norway in 2012 with 15 year-olds in 1985. Further, the intention was to investigate the incidence and progression of erosive lesions from age 15 to 21.
Materials and methods
Two calibrated clinicians recorded dental erosion on study models from 1985 (n=300; 150 girls/ 150 boys), at age 15 (born 1970). To record the incidence and progression of dental erosion, study models of the same individuals were examined at ages 18 (1988, n=88) and 21 (1991, n=35). The Visual Erosion Dental Examination (VEDE) system was used to score dental erosion on index surfaces; occlusal surfaces on permanent first molars and labial/ palatal surfaces on maxillary front teeth.
The prevalence of dental erosion 30 years ago was 64% (60% with enamel lesions only) compared to 59% recently (44% with enamel lesions only). In 1985, 4% had dentin erosions compared to 15% lately. Male adolescents had higher prevalence of dental erosion than female ones; (p=0.006). Regarding the incidence, 4% of the healthy surfaces developed enamel erosion during three (47/1295 surfaces) and six years (18/517 surfaces), respectively. Of the erosive lesions, 26% progressed during three years (27/104 surfaces), and 42% during six years (16/38 surfaces).
Thirty years ago, the prevalence of dental erosion was in the same order as reported nowadays, but the condition seemed less severe.