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Released: Monday, May 31, 2021
Expires: Sunday, March 31, 2024

Dental Erosion: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management

By Gregg Helvey, DDS, MAGD, CDT

Commercial Supporter: GlaxoSmithKline

The loss of tooth structure can be classified into two categories: loss occurring from disease or loss from a non-disease source. The majority of tooth structure loss from disease is a result of microbiological activity (caries). Non-disease-related tooth structure loss may be divided into the sub-categories attrition, abrasion, and erosion. Attrition is defined as the loss of tooth structure (enamel and dentin) resulting from tooth-to tooth contact. Tooth structure loss from abrasion is usually mechanical in nature, whereas, in the case of erosion, the loss of tooth structure is through chemical action. This article will focus on tooth structure loss by erosion—its etiology, diagnosis, and management. 



  • Identify the non-disease sources of dental erosion​
  • Discuss the extrinsic and intrinsic causes of dental erosion.
  • Recognize the patient habits and behaviors that can be used to help manage dental erosion

About the Author

Gregg A. Helvey, DDS, MAGD, CDT
Adjunct Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, Richmond, Virginia
Private Practice, Middleburg, Virginia

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