Pathological tooth wear was rarely seen in ancient civilizations, and the majority of it was abrasion or attrition. While its prevalence and severity have increased in children and adults, ETW is a totally preventable condition for most individuals. Progressive ETW can lead to poor aesthetics, sensitivity, loss of function, and sometimes loss of self-esteem (Figure 22).
Early identification and prevention is key. By the time lesions are clearly visible to the patient, restorative intervention and life-long dental treatment may be required. Regularly screening all patients for ETW makes it possible to diagnose erosive lesions at the earliest possible stage and allows implementation of preventive and treatment measures to preserve tooth structure and help stop further damage.