Dental erosion in a group of British 14-year-old, school children. Part I: Prevalence and influence of differing socioeconomic backgrounds

Br Dent J. 2001 Feb 10;190(3):145-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4800908.


Objectives: To establish the prevalence of erosion in a cluster random sample of 14- year-olds in Birmingham UK. To determine whether socioeconomic group influences the prevalence of erosion.

Methods: The study group consisted of a cluster random sample of 14-year-old school children in Birmingham UK: 418 children were examined from 12 different schools; 209 were male and 209 female. The level of tooth wear was recorded using a modification of the (TWI) index of Smith and Knight (1984). The ACORN classification was used to assess the socioeconomic status of all children.

Results: Results showed that 48% of the children had low erosion, 51% had moderate erosion and only 1% had severe erosion. There were statistically significant differences between males and females; more males had buccal/labial and lingual/palatal tooth surface erosion than females (Chi-square analysis P < 0.001). There was also significantly more erosion observed in teenagers in the lowest socioeconomic categories.

Conclusion: It was concluded that moderate levels of dental erosion are common in 14-year-old school children and this may lead to increasing clinical problems. There was significantly more erosion in children from low socioeconomic groups. Possible aetiological factors need to be investigated further.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Tooth Erosion / epidemiology*