Journal of Public Health Dentistry
Objectives: To investigate the prevalence and severity of tooth wear (TW) and its relationship with consumption of beverages among adults in the United States.
Methods: The National Health and Nutrition Examinations Survey data for 2003-2004 was analyzed. TW was defined as “wear on at least one surface of at least one examined tooth.” Drink/juice consumption was ascertained via a Food Frequency Questionnaire processed with Diet*Calc software to obtain the average daily consumption frequency for all queried drinks and juice categories including milk. Survey-weighted descriptive and multivariable analyses with interaction terms were performed.
Results: Our study sample consisted of 3,773 adults (aged 20 and above). Eighty percent of the subjects had evidence of TW, and soft drinks were the most consumed beverage. Significant interactions between the effects of age, gender, and race/ethnicity on TW were found (P < 0.001). After adjustment for demographic factors, consumption of fruit drinks was found to be significantly associated with the severity [odds ratio (OR) = 1.32 and 1.42], but not prevalence of TW. However, this trend was reversed for grape juice consumption (OR = 0.34, 0.41).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a substantial proportion of adults had evidence of TW, which was affected by demographic factors in a complex way. Fruit drinks consumption in adults was associated with the severity of TW, but not with the prevalence of TW after adjusting for demographics. These findings are important for the development of appropriate treatment guidelines, public policy, and programs aimed at reducing TW in adults.