Erosion--diagnosis and risk factors

Clin Oral Investig. 2008 Mar;12 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S5-13. doi: 10.1007/s00784-007-0179-z. Epub 2008 Jan 29.


Dental erosion is a multifactorial condition: The interplay of chemical, biological and behavioural factors is crucial and helps explain why some individuals exhibit more erosion than others. The erosive potential of erosive agents like acidic drinks or foodstuffs depends on chemical factors, e.g. pH, titratable acidity, mineral content, clearance on tooth surface and on its calcium-chelation properties. Biological factors such as saliva, acquired pellicle, tooth structure and positioning in relation to soft tissues and tongue are related to the pathogenesis of dental erosion. Furthermore, behavioural factors like eating and drinking habits, regular exercise with dehydration and decrease of salivary flow, excessive oral hygiene and, on the other side, an unhealthy lifestyle, e.g. chronic alcoholism, are predisposing factors for dental erosion. There is some evidence that dental erosion is growing steadily. To prevent further progression, it is important to detect this condition as early as possible. Dentists have to know the clinical appearance and possible signs of progression of erosive lesions and their causes such that adequate preventive and, if necessary, therapeutic measures can be initiated. The clinical examination has to be done systematically, and a comprehensive case history should be undertaken such that all risk factors will be revealed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acids / adverse effects
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Dental Enamel Solubility
  • Dental Pellicle / physiology
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet, Cariogenic
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Odontometry
  • Risk Factors
  • Tooth Abrasion / diagnosis*
  • Tooth Abrasion / etiology
  • Tooth Erosion / diagnosis*
  • Tooth Erosion / etiology


  • Acids