(Preparation of the Background)Since the mid-1990s, there has been an increase in interest in dental erosion, and how it influences tooth wear. Before, studies on human tooth wear were mainly based on teeth obtained from teeth which were acquired via archaeology. These days such studies are carried out on adult human beings. However, in neither clinical case report was dental erosion identified as a major etiological factor. In the mid-1990s, emphasis on this subject matter shifted from adults to children and adolescents on one hand, and from general tooth wear (attrition and abrasion) to paying more attention the significance of the different causative factors resulting in erosive tooth wear. (Discussion of the basic references related to the main topic)Recently, several studies from many different nations all over the globe have reported that the prevalence of erosive wear is high, especially among children and adolescents is high. Apart from this, some longitudinal studies prove that the occurrence of erosion is on the rise, and erosive lesions that are already present progress rapidly. Even if the prevalence rates vary substantially, it is evident that dental erosion is a common finding in populations from all over the world, especially among children and adolescents. The food consumed by human beings centuries ago was often tough and contained coarse particles, which required heavy chewing. The resulting wear facets were further influenced by the abrasive components of the food. Modern diets would appear to lack such abrasives but can contain acids, which can demineralize enamel and potentiate attrition and abrasion. Nevertheless, there are findings supporting the existence of dental erosion even in medieval populations.A number of different terms like attrition, erosion, and abrasion are used frequently in dentistry to refer to tooth wear; however, these terms do not clearly explain the process of wearing, neither do they identify the cause. They rather describe the clinical research outcomes of some underlying events. As such, the science of tribology might betterdescribe the process of tooth wear. Many different mechanisms exist in the science of tribology, one of which could apply in tooth wear. This one couldbe explained in terms of two-body abrasion (attrition) or three three-body abrasion, interacting with abrasive fluid (erosion and abrasion).
(Problem statement) Till now there has not been a consensus on the definition and diagnostic criteria for dental erosion. This, together with prior lack of interest in the subject matter can explain some of the ambiguities associated with the condition . With the existence of such ambiguities, the diagnosis of the condition remains hazy, and the pathophysiology is still not fully understood; as such, patients cannot receive adequate management and counsel on how to prevent the condition.
(Need for the study / indication of the purpose) It is, therefore, the purpose of this paper to give an overview of current knowledge of dental erosion, based on a scrutiny of the literature review. This would lead to a better understanding, and a clarification of the diagnostic criteria and pathophysiology is essential for correct early diagnosis, management, and prevention. This is very important at such a point in time, as we are experiencing an increase in the prevalence of the condition.
(Significance of the study)Even though identifying a single clinically detectable cause of tooth wear may be challenging, it would be good to determine if dental erosion is becoming more of an essential characteristic of such tooth wear.It is important for the oral healthcare team to be able to recognize the early signs and symptoms of dental erosion and to adequately understand disease process. This understanding would be paramount to counselling patients appropriately on how to prevent and manage tooth wear early enough, before it evolves to stages where complications occur. This would be easier and relatively more cost-effective, especially as prevention can be achieved using simple lifestyle modifications.