Dental erosion – current perspectives for general practice


Dental erosion and tooth wear in general pose significant challenges to the diagnostic, preventive and restorative skills of the dental practitioner today in his/her efforts to maintain the structural integrity and stability of a patient’s dentition over their lifetime. These goals risk being substantially compromised when rapid loss of dental hard tissue occurs early in life.

Diagnosis and subsequent management of dental erosion are complicated by an often multifactorial aetiology involving other tooth wear processes such as attrition and abrasion, in addition to which are superimposed the interactions of patient habits, lifestyle and behavioural factors. Of the three individual processes, erosion is considered to make the greatest contribution to tooth wear.1,2

The influence and effect of attritional and abrasive tooth wear are not specifically discussed in this overview, but the potential for their coexistence in conjunction with erosive tooth wear is always presumed.

Journal of the Irish Dental Association 2012; 58 (5): 241-244

Ray McCarthy
Private practice,