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Open Access Research article

The prevalence of dental erosion and associated risk factors in 12-13-year-old school children in Southern China

Ping Wang1, Huan Cai Lin2*, Jian Hong Chen1 and Huan You Liang1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Stomatology, the Third Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

2 Department of Dental Public Health, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:478  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-478

Published: 12 August 2010

Abstract

Background

Dental erosion has been investigated in developed and developing countries and the prevalence varies considerably in different countries, geographic locations, and age groups. With the lifestyle of the Chinese people changing significantly over the decades, dental erosion has begun to receive more attention. However, the information about dental erosion in China is scarce. The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of dental erosion and associated risk factors in 12-13-year-old school children in Guangzhou, Southern China.

Methods

This cross-sectional survey was performed by two trained, calibrated examiners. A stratified random sample of 12-13-year-old children (774 boys and 725 girls) from 10 schools was examined for dental erosion using the diagnostic criteria of Eccles and the index of O'Sullivan was applied to record the distribution, severity, and amount of the lesions. Data on the socio-economic status, health behaviours, and general health involved in the etiology of dental erosion were obtained from a self-completed questionnaire. The analyses were performed using SPSS software.

Results

At least one tooth surface with signs of erosion was found in 416 children (27.3%). The most frequently affected teeth were the central incisors (upper central incisors, 16.3% and 15.9%; lower central incisors, 17.4% and 14.8%). The most frequently affected surface was the incisal or occlusal edge (43.2%). The loss of enamel contour was present in 54.6% of the tooth surfaces with erosion. Of the affected tooth surfaces, 69.3% had greater than one-half of the tooth surface was affected. The results from logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the children who were female, consumed carbonated drinks once a week or more, and those whose mothers were educated to the primary level tended to have more dental erosion.

Conclusions

Dental erosion in 12-13-year-old Chinese school children is becoming a significant problem. A strategy of offering preventive care, including more campaigns promoting a healthier lifestyle for those at risk of dental erosion should be conducted in Chinese children and their parents.