Erosive wear of the primary dentition: who is aware of it?

  • G. GattEmail author
  • N. Attard
Original Scientific Article



To determine the influence of erosive tooth wear in the primary dentition on parental perceptions of oral health.


This cross-sectional study involved a standardised clinical examination of 775 preschool aged children and a parent-administered questionnaire. Erosive tooth wear was measured using the Basic Erosive Wear Examination Index.


71% and 81% of 3 (n = 256) and 5 year-old children (n = 337) respectively exhibited signs of erosive tooth wear. Prevalence was influenced by region (p = 0.049) (p = 0.007) in both age cohorts (χ2, p < 0.05) respectively and by parental level of education (p = 0.012) in the 5-year-old cohort. Parental perception of oral health was significantly associated (χ2, p < 0.05) with parental level of education in the 5-year-old cohort and with the presence of dental caries, reports of pain and dental appearance of the child in both age cohorts. Parental perceptions were unaffected by the degree of erosive tooth wear their child exhibited (p = 0.0564), (p = 0.739) in both age cohorts respectively.


Erosive dental tooth wear is increasingly observed in the primary dentition however is not perceived as an oral health issue by parents. Its diagnosis and management therefore, fall heavily within the remit of the dental practitioner.


Primary dentition Erosion Paediatric dentistry Child quality of life Parental perceptions 


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Dental SurgeryUniversity of MaltaMsidaMalta

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