Dental erosion is a multifactorial condition: There is an interplay of chemical, biological, and behavioral factors in its aetiology which 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 the 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. This lecture will discuss the undesirable effects of dental erosion and will describe the signs and common features of erosion of the dentition. The BeWe index will be discussed and presented in detail. Recommendations for management will be tabled based on the BeWe score and monitoring using the BeWe score is important. Ways to engage with the patient to help them understand how they can slow the progression of erosion will be presented. Generation of awareness of erosion is critical. Tips for minimising your risk as a Dental Professional will be stated.
- Demonstrating evidence that dental erosion is growing steadily.
- Evaluate 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.
- To prevent further progression, it is important to detect this condition as early as possible.
- Learn how to use the BeWe Index and what the scores mean for patient management.
- Explain how the clinical examination must be done systematically, and a comprehensive case history should be undertaken such that all risk factors will be revealed.
- Illustrate how moderate to severe tooth wear poses a significant clinical challenge to dental practitioners and may result in treatment that is more complex and costly to the patient, both in terms of finances and time spent in the dental chair.