Scientific background

Tooth wear

Differentiation of erosion and caries

 

Erosion

Caries


Clinical and histological
appearance
Loss of surface texture (perikymata), localised
silky shiny surface caused by mineral loss on tooth surface

White spot(s) caused by localised lesions with mineral loss starting beneath tooth surface


 
Light microscopy of an eroded enamel specimen (left side: uneroded; right side: eroded)

Cross-section of a white spot lesion; polarisation microscopy

Image: courtesy of Professor B. H. Clarkson, University of Michigan, USA


 
Rounded defects and further loss of tooth morphology (dentine involvement)
Tooth surface intact initially, but later developing into rough defects