Studies on the epidemiology and prevention of dental erosion
About the project
Dental erosion involves the loss of tooth substance due to acids that are not produced by oral bacteria. Acids from food and drink are the main sources, but stomach acids associated with gatric reflux or eating disturbaces or environmental acids can be involved.
The prevalence of dental erosion appears to be increasing and seems to be associated with a modern lifestyle. Epidemiological studies from other countries show varying results and in Norway there is very little data available. In order to obtain an overview of the extent of this problem in Norway, a clinical study has been carried out on 18-yr-olds in Oslo. Smaller prevalence studies have and are being carried out in the form of Mastergrad projects - on both university students and people training at health centres.
The most important treatment for dental erosion is information to the patient and a thorough examination in order to determine the cause(s) of the damage. In cases where the cause is unknown or difficult to determine, and where the damage continues, extensive dental treatment is often required in order to restore the dentition. Prior to that stage it is important to diagnose signs of early erosion lesions and aim to prevent further damage. With regard to prevention, studies have shown that treatment of the enamel and/or dentine with acidic fluorides can provide a certain degree of protection against further acid damage.
Researchers from different clinical departments are working on various projects related to dental erosions.
- Studies testing scoring systems for dental erosions.
- Studies recording the prevalence of dental erosions among adolescents in Oslo and a group of wine-tasters.
- A study aiming to gather information about dentists knowledge about dental erosion and their treatment methods is in the planning stage.
- In vitro, in situ and in experimental in vivo studies to test the ability of various fluorides (NaF, SnF2, TiF4 and HF) to protect dental hard tissue against acid attack as observed in some patients suffering from eating disorders (bullemia nervosa and anorexia nervosa) or as a result of dietary habits. The role of saliva and pellicle is also under investigation. Analytical techniques used include calcium analysis, microscopy techniques (SEM, TEM) and optical profilometry and white light interferometry (WLI).
This is an ongoing project involving several sub-groups and projects. Financing is mainly based on funding through 'Småforsk midler'/funding from UiO, but also through grants from The Directorate for Health and Social Affairs.
- SINTEF, Materials and Chemistry, Oslo, Norway (Børge Holme)
- Kings College, London, UK. (David Bartlett)