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Managing Dental Erosion: 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). A number of 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.64-67

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 beveragesimage
Duration of erosive acid exposureimage
High consumption of acidic fruits and vegetablesimage
Drinking alcoholimage
The manner in which acidic agents are consumedimage
Having acidic drinks at night when saliva flow is lowimage