Purpose: This cross-sectional observational study evaluated the frequency of dental erosion in 12-year-old schoolchildren in Hungary and its connection to gender, geographical region, eating/drinking habits, and to socioeconomic factors, such as the educational level of their mothers.
Keywords: dental erosion, national survey, prevalence, risk factors, 12-year-old-children
Materials and Methods: 579 randomly selected children aged 12 (287 boys and 292 girls) were examined in our cross-sectional study from 14 different regions in Hungary. Clinical examinations were carried out by the same examiner, using the ‘Basic Erosive Wear Examination’ (BEWE) index. A self-administered questionnaire was filled in by each child, surveying their oral hygiene, nutritional habits and socioeconomic status.
Results: 21.2% of the children showed dentitions with signs of erosion. We found statistically significantly higher BEWE scores in urban than in rural areas (p = 0.0058). There was no difference between genders. Among children drinking carbonated soft drinks once or more daily, the prevalence of BEWE score < 3 was statistically significantly lower than among those who consumed these kinds of beverages less frequently (83.6% vs 90%, respectively, p = 0.034). Children of mothers with a highschool diploma had a BEWE score ≥ 3 statistically significantly less frequently than those whose mothers had not graduated from highschool (8.4% vs 22.5%, respectively, p = 0.000).
Conclusions: The prevalence of dental erosion among 12-year-old children in Hungary is not as high as reported previously in Western European countries. A positive correlation was observed between the consumption of carbonated soft drinks, the educational level of the mothers and the level of erosion. These factors statistically significantly affected the prevalence and severity of erosive dental lesions.