Dental erosion and soft drink consumption in Swedish children and adolescents and the development of a simplified erosion partial recording system
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of dental erosion among Swedish children and adolescents and to examine its relation to soft drink consumption. It was hypothesized that the prevalence of dental erosion would be higher in boys than girls,that it would show a correlation with soft drink consumption and that a further simplification ofa previously-used partial recording screening system for dental erosion would have an acceptable sensitivity and specificity. 801 individuals were invited to participate, of whom 609 (75%) accepted. 135 were 5-6 years, 227 were 13-14 years, and 247 were18-19 years old. A questionnaire survey of each individual's soft drink consumption habits, in addition to a clinical examination, were performed. Severe erosion extending into dentine on one or more maxillary anterior teeth/ molars was found to be 13.3% in the 5-6 group, 11.9% in 13-14 group and 22.3% in 18-19 group. The total prevalence for all age groups was 16.4%. The severity of erosion was highest among 18-19 year-old boys, 34.4 % of whom exhibited one or more teeth with severe erosive damage while none of the girls did so. Soft drink consumption was significantly correlated with severity of dental erosion in the 18-19 and 13-14 groups but not in the 5-6 years old group. A simplified erosion partial recording system (SEPRS) using 4 (permanent) or 6 (primary) surfaces as markers showed excellent sensitivity (100%/100%, respectively) and specificity (98%/100%, respectively) in relation to scoring of all maxillary canines/incisors and first permanent/all primary molars. In view of the high prevalence of dental erosion and soft drink consumption among Swedish children and adolescents reported here,there is clearly a need for a national epidemiological registration system as well as for community-based preventive programs to be implemented. The hypothesis that dental erosion would be higher in boys than girls and that it would show a correlation with soft drink intake was confirmed.