Tooth wear is a common finding in oral examinations. Pathological tooth wear (PTW) is the amount of wear that exceeds the normal phenomena of ageing or the normal threshold value of wear. The objective of this study was to determine the associated factors of PTW among 16-year-old secondary school children.
This case-control study involved 576 participants randomly selected from eight government secondary schools. The Smith and Knight Tooth Wear Index and WHO criteria were used for charting of tooth wear and dental caries respectively. Data were analyzed using a simplified Microsoft Excel program developed based on the index, to quantify PTW. Controls were subjects with no PTW indicated by zero scores on all tooth surfaces. Cases were subjects with PTW having at least one surface scoring 1 for tooth wear. Consequently, responses were obtained from self-administered questionnaire containing socio-demographic profile of the family, general questions, oral hygiene and food and drinks practices and other associated variables for tooth wear, which was previously developed based on expert opinions.
About 40% and 57% were males were in controls and cases respectively. On performing multivariable analysis, sex, monthly household income, carbonated drinks, duration of intake of orange juices, caries experience and swimming were significantly associated with PTW.
In conclusion the factors associated with PTW were no different from those encountered in Western societies. Realizing that some significant variables were modifiable, oral health promotion should emphasize on this information. The erosive potential of some foods and drinks require further investigation.