Is tooth wear in the primary dentition predictive of tooth wear in the permanent dentition? Report from a longitudinal study.
Article Type: Clinical report
Subject: Elementary school students (Health aspects)
Dentition (Health aspects)
Dentifrices (Usage)
Dentifrices (Health aspects)
Oral hygiene products (Usage)
Oral hygiene products (Health aspects)
Author: Wright, Graeme
Pub Date: 10/01/2010
Publication: Name: European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry Publisher: European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry ISSN: 1818-6300
Issue: Date: Oct, 2010 Source Volume: 11 Source Issue: 5
Product: Product Code: E197200 Students, Elementary SIC Code: 2844 Toilet preparations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 276898061
Full Text: Is tooth wear in the primary dentition predictive of tooth wear in the permanent dentition? Report from a longitudinal study. MA Harding, HP Whelton, SC Shirodaria, et al. Commun Dent Health 2010;27: 41-5

Summary. A prospective cohort study was carried out to determine the prevalence of tooth wear in the permanent dentition of a sample of 12 year-old school children and to establish whether an association exists between tooth wear recorded now, and tooth wear recorded in their primary dentition at age five. At follow-up to a previous study, complete data were available for 123 children; fieldwork was conducted in the child's primary school. Measurement of tooth wear used a scoring system modified from the Smith and Knight Tooth Wear Index (TWI). Tooth wear which had progressed to dentine was assessed on the occlusal surfaces of the 4 first permanent molars, the labial, lingual/palatal and incisal surfaces of the 6 upper and 6 lower anterior teeth; a total of 40 scoreable surfaces. Demographic data were collected from the parents, and a questionnaire on oral hygiene habits, diet and behaviours completed by each child. In total 38% (n = 47) of subjects had tooth wear, if incisor teeth only were included, 33% (n = 40) had tooth wear and similarly if the occlusal surfaces of molar teeth only were included 10% (n = 12) had signs of tooth wear. Gender was significantly associated with tooth wear: males had more tooth wear. The presence of tooth wear with dentine exposed in the primary dentition was significantly associated with tooth wear on the occlusal surfaces of the first permanent molars. Males had more tooth wear than females. An association existed between tooth wear recorded at age 5 and molar tooth wear recorded at age 12. Tooth wear is a lifelong cumulative process and should be recorded in both the primary and permanent dentitions.

Comment. When advocating the prevention and treatment of dental caries in the primary dentition, it was, and still can be, met with the opposing view that it's 'only baby teeth and they'll fall out'. An obvious defence, amongst many others, is that to ignore disease in the primary dentition is simply laying the foundations of disease progression to the secondary dentition. This paper enlightens with its well-constructed execution and delivery and provides further evidence that diseases, such as erosion, in the primary dentition serve as timeous indicators of potential disease in the succedaneous dentition and at a time whereby prevention can be key to avoiding further disease.
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