Prevalence of cheese molars in eleven-year-old Dutch children

ASDC J Dent Child. 2001 Jul-Aug;68(4):259-62, 229.


In the Netherlands, first permanent molars with idiopathic enamel disturbances (IED) are called cheese molars. Though concern is expressed about their prevalence, adequate figures on the subject are missing. The porous enamel of cheese molars can be very sensitive to cold air and can decay rapidly. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence in eleven-year-old Dutch children of cheese molars (IED). During an epidemiological study performed in four cities in the Netherlands, the first permanent molars and central incisors of eleven-year-old children were examined for hypoplasia, opacities, posteruptive enamel loss, premature extraction, and atypical restorations. The observation of a hypoplasia excluded the possibility of cheese molar. A total of 497 children were examined. Six percent (n = 128) of the molars (n = 1988) showed signs of IED (cheese molars), 10 percent of the children had cheese molars of which 8 percent two or more. Incisors (4 percent) with opacities were found in 3 percent in combination with two or more cheese molars. Among the four cities, no significant differences in occurrence were found. The results of this study showed that in 10 percent of the Dutch children eleven years of age, cheese molars (IED) were found. The cause for the phenomenon called cheese molars appears to be child centered. Further studies on prevalence, causes and prevention are mandatory.

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Dental Enamel / abnormalities*
  • Dental Enamel Hypoplasia / epidemiology
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / statistics & numerical data
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Humans
  • Incisor / abnormalities
  • Molar / abnormalities*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Tooth Diseases / epidemiology
  • Tooth Eruption
  • Tooth Extraction / statistics & numerical data