Prevalence of tooth wear in adults

Int J Prosthodont. 2009 Jan-Feb;22(1):35-42.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate data on the prevalence of tooth wear in adults and assess possible correlations using a systematic review.

Materials and methods: A search of the literature, using PubMed and the Cochrane Library, from January 1980 to July 2007 was made using keywords "tooth + wear"; "dental + attrition + prevalence"; "dental + wear + prevalence"; "erosion + prevalence"; and "abrasion + prevalence". References were independently screened for inclusion and exclusion by two investigators and Cohen Kappa was used as the measure of agreement. Data were collected and converted into the Smith and Knight Tooth Wear Index.

Results: One hundred eighty-six references were initially selected and subjected to the systematic review procedure; 13 survived the inclusion procedure. Four articles were suitable for regression analysis at tooth level (R2 = .593) and 3 at subject level (R2 = .736), using "age and age squared" and "age squared" as variables, respectively. Six studies reported males having significantly more tooth wear than females.

Conclusion: The predicted percentage of adults presenting with severe tooth wear increases from 3% at the age of 20 years to 17% at the age of 70 years. Increasing levels of tooth wear are significantly associated with age.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Tooth Abrasion / epidemiology*
  • Tooth Attrition / epidemiology*
  • Tooth Erosion / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult