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Oral Health Topics

Dental Erosion

Key Points

  • Dental erosion is a chemical process characterized by acid dissolution of dental hard tissue not involving acids of bacterial origin.
  • Erosive demineralization can result in progressive, irreversible loss of tooth mineral substance, and may be caused by intrinsic (e.g., acid reflux and excessive vomiting) and/or extrinsic (e.g., dietary) factors.
  • Frequent consumption of soft drinks, particularly carbonated sodas, is a primary risk factor for erosive tooth wear. Consumption of acidic snacks/sweets or natural acidic fruit juice may also increase risk for erosion.
  • Diagnosis and management of dental erosion includes careful clinical examination and evaluation of the patient to identify common signs of erosion (e.g., loss of enamel texture, cupping or flattening on occlusal surfaces), predisposing factors for erosive tooth wear, and options to reduce probability of exposure to erosive (acidic) drinks, dietary sources and/or other acids of intrinsic or extrinsic origin.


  • Introduction
  • Dental Erosion
  • Diagnosis, Prevention and Management
  • Patient Information
  • ADA Seal of Acceptance: Dental Erosion
  • References
  • ADA Resources

Topic last updated: August 31, 2021

Prepared by:

Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC.


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