Purpose: A high prevalence of tooth surface loss due to erosion is well recognized in the United Kingdom (UK), but not in the United States (US). This could be due to prevalence or perception or a combination of both. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of erosion of the upper permanent incisors in US and UK samples of 11-13 year old children.
Methods: Convenience samples of 129 subjects were examined in the US and 125 in the UK by two trained examiners. The palatal and buccal surfaces of the upper permanent incisors were assessed for the presence of erosion. Subjects also completed a questionnaire investigating any association between the presence of erosion and possible etiological factors.
Results: The prevalence of erosion was 41% in the US and 37% in the UK samples, this difference was not statistically significant. Similarly no statistically significant difference was found between the sexes. The erosion present was confined to enamel in the vast majority of subjects. The questionnaire did not detect any link between the presence of erosion and possible etiological factors.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that dental erosion is common in both US and UK adolescent populations. There is a need for a larger study to investigate this issue further.