The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and possible etiological factors of erosive tooth wear and wedge-shaped defects in Swiss Army recruits and compare the findings with those of an analogous study conducted in 1996. In 2006, 621 recruits between 18 and 25 years of age (1996: 417 recruits; ages 19 to 25) were examined for erosive tooth wear and wedge-shaped defects. Additional data was acquired using a questionnaire about personal details, education, dentition’s subjective condition, oral hygiene, eating and drinking habits, medications used, and general medical problems. In 2006, 60.1% of those examined exhibited occlusal erosive tooth wear not involving the dentin (1996: 82.0%) and 23.0% involving the dentin (1996: 30.7%). Vestibular erosive tooth wear without dentin involvement was seen in 7.7% in 2006 vs. 14.4% in 1996. Vestibular erosive tooth wear with dentin involvement was rare in both years (0.5%). Oral erosive tooth wear lacking exposed dentin was also rare in those years, although more teeth were affected in 2006 (2.1%) than in 1996 (0.7%). The examinations in 2006 found one or more initial wedge-shaped lesions in 8.5% of the recruits, while 20.4% of the study participants exhibited such in 1996. In 1996, 53% consumed acidic foods and beverages more than 5 times/day; in 2006, 83.9% did so. In neither study did multivariate regression analyses show any significant correlations between occurrence and location of erosive tooth wear and wedgeshaped defects and various other parameters, e.g., eating and hygiene habits, or dentin hypersensitivity. Despite a significant increase in consumption of acidic products between 1996 and 2006, the latter study found both fewer erosive tooth wear and fewer wedge-shaped defects (i.e., fewer non-carious lesions.)

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