Occupation and sports

Monogr Oral Sci. 2006;20:106-111. doi: 10.1159/000093357.


In rare cases the occupation - be it at work or during professional and strenuous sports activities - may give a clue to a patient's risk factors for dental erosion. However, no detrimental effects were described on a population level. Frequent contact to inorganic or organic acids at work could increase the occurrence and progression of erosion. In some studies, acid workers had significantly more teeth with erosive tooth wear than the controls. Clinical findings showed erosion mainly on upper anterior teeth and dentine hypersensitivity. Occupation groups at risk would mostly be found in the chemical industry, but also others like wine tasters may have dental erosion. A few case reports and studies have reported an association between sports activities and erosive tooth wear. The cause could be direct acid exposure or strenuous exercise, which may increase gastroesophageal reflux. Risk groups are swimmers exercising in water with low pH and athletes consuming frequently erosive sport drinks. It has to be kept in mind that sports drinks and occupation can be for some patients a cofactor in the development or in the increase of dental erosion. However, it is unlikely that one or two isolated factors will be responsible for this multifactorial condition.

MeSH terms

  • Acids
  • Beverages / adverse effects
  • Chemical Industry
  • Disease Progression
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Sports*
  • Swimming
  • Tooth Erosion / etiology*


  • Acids