Occurrence of risk factors for dental erosion in the population of young adults in Norway
Jostein Grytten, Department of Community Dentistry, University of Oslo, PO Box 1052, Blindern 0316, Norway
Tel.: +47 22 84 03 87
Fax: +47 22 84 03 03
The aim of this study was to describe the occurrence of risk factors for dental erosion for a group of young adults who are particularly susceptible to erosion. Another aim was to describe the awareness of erosion and distribution of risk factors according to the educational background of the parents.
The sample (n = 2004 individuals) was randomly drawn from the population of 19–20-year-old Norwegians. The data were collected using telephone interviews. We measured awareness about erosion using the following question: ‘Have you ever heard about dental erosion?' We obtained information about the frequency of intake of the following risk factors: soft drinks with and without sugar, and juice. Soft drinks with sugar included lemonade (Coca-Cola, Solo, Pepsi, Mozell and ice tea) and sport drinks (XL1, Maxim). Soft drinks without sugar included Cola light, Zero, PepsiMax, Solo light and ice tea light. Juice included orange, grapefruit, apple and kiwi juice. The parents' level of education was based on the Norwegian school system, which has three levels: compulsory schooling (10 years), upper secondary school education (up to 13 years) and university/college education. The data were analysed using logistic regressions analyses.
Awareness of erosion was high – 93.5% of respondents were aware of the problem. The majority of respondents believed that erosion can be prevented – altogether 84.9%. They also believed that soft drinks with and without sugar are equally important for the development of erosion. 17.5% of respondents drank soft drinks with sugar daily or several times a day. The corresponding figures for soft drinks without sugar and juice were 4.9% and 34.1%, respectively. Young adults with mothers with high education drank soft drinks both with and without sugar less frequently than those who had mothers with low education. This pattern was the opposite for juice.
Consumption of soft drinks and juice is high, even though awareness and knowledge about the causes of erosion are widespread. This indicates the need for effective intervention strategies to reduce the level of consumption. These strategies should take into account the fact that the distribution of risk factors is skewed with respect to parents' level of education.