• epidemiology;
  • tooth erosion;
  • risk factors;
  • children


Objective: Prevalence data about tooth erosion has attracted increasing attention in the dental community; however, population-based studies that assessed the impact of demographic, socioeconomic, and dietetic predictors on tooth erosion are scarce. This investigation assessed the prevalence of this condition of a sample of 11-14-year-old schoolchildren and the etiological factors.

Method: A cross-sectional study in a multistage random sample of 944, 11-14-year-old Brazilian schoolchildren was conducted in Santa Maria, Brazil. We recorded the prevalence and severity of tooth erosion, dental caries, and dental enamel hypoplasia. Socioeconomic and habits/dietetic data were collected by a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Poisson regression model taking into account the cluster sample.

Results: Prevalence of tooth erosion was low (7.2%). The most affected teeth were the maxillary incisors. Labial surfaces were more often affected than palatal ones. All the erosive lesions observed were confined to the enamel. Older children [prevalence ratio (PR) = 1.71; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06-2.76] with dental enamel hypoplasia (PR = 1.98; 95% CI: 1.21-3.22) were more likely to have tooth erosion. No significant association was observed between tooth erosion, dental caries, habits and dietary patterns, and socioeconomic factors.

Conclusion: The data suggest that tooth erosion was associated with age and presence of hypoplasia. It may indicate the need of strategies to diagnose in early stages and to minimize consequences.