Influence of Intrinsic Factors on Erosive Tooth Wear in a Large-Scale Epidemiological Study

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the influence of self-reported intrinsic factors [gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), long-term alcoholism, long-term heavy use of alcohol and multiple pregnancies] on erosive tooth wear in a middle-aged cohort sample.

Materials and Methods:

Of the total Northern Finland Birth Cohort (NFBC 1966), a convenience sample (n = 3,181) was invited for an oral health examination in 2012-2013, of which 1,962 participated, comprising the final study group. Erosive tooth wear was assessed by sextants using the Basic Erosive Wear Examination Index (BEWE, 0-18). Clinical data were supplemented by questionnaires conducted in 1997/1998 and 2012/2013. The participants were divided into severe (BEWE sum ≥9) and no-to-moderate (BEWE sum 0-8) erosive wear groups, and the logistic regression model was applied.

Results:

Selected intrinsic factors were quite rare in this cohort sample and explained only 5.9% of the difference in the prevalence and severity of erosive wear. Daily symptoms of GERD [odds ratio (OR) 3.8, confidence interval (CI) 1.2-12.0] and hyposalivation (OR 3.8, CI 1.2-11.8) were the strongest risk indicators for severe erosive wear. Additionally, variables associated with an elevated risk for severe erosive wear were diagnosed alcoholism at any point (OR 2.5, CI 0.7-9.7) and self-reported heavy use of alcohol in both questionnaires (OR 2.0, CI 0.6-6.2). Even low-dose long-term consumption of alcohol was associated with erosive wear.

Conclusions:

In this cohort sample, intrinsic factors such as GERD or alcoholism alone are relatively uncommon causes of erosive tooth wear. The role of long-term use of alcohol in the erosion process may be bigger than presumed.

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