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Prevalence of tooth erosion and associated factors in 11-14-year-old Brazilian schoolchildren


Mrs. Fabiana Vargas-Ferreira, Rua Barão de Santa Tecla, 804, apto 203, zip code 96010-140, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Tel.: 55-53-30-25-49-02, 55-53-91-05-49-02; Fax: 55-53-3284-1300; e-mail: Fabiana Vargas-Ferreira is a postgraduate in epidemiology from the Univerdidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel). Juliana Rodrigues Praetzel and Thiago Machado Ardenghi are adjunct professors at the Deparment of Stomatology, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria.


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.