GSK Sensodyne involved with erosive tooth wear research

Aug. 22, 2008
Dental health team at GSK has worked to identify acid erosion as an emerging and serious issue.

Following the International Association for Dental Research Conference in Toronto, leading dental researchers and clinicians at the Pan European Federation Conference in London Sept. 10-12 will continue to urge the dental profession to adopt the first standardized practitioner index.

The index will detect and manage erosive tooth wear in dental practices with the eventual aim of improving patient care.

The Basic Erosion Wear Examination was pioneered by a number of leading academicians led by professor David Bartlett of King's College Dental Institute, London, and Professor Adrian Lussi of the University of Bern. Their work has attracted the attention of GSK, the makers of the Sensodyne Pronamel range, who have been collaborating with academics in the area of acid erosion for more than 15 years.

The high acidic content of the modern diet coupled with a shift towards more frequent snacking means that acid erosion has become of increasing concern due to the demineralization of the enamel surface. This makes it more susceptible to tooth wear from abrasion and attrition.

The dental health team at GSK has worked to identify acid erosion as an emerging and serious issue. The team has conducted and sponsored in depth research into ways to manage the problem via work with professor Bartlett and other global experts in the field.

Previously, erosion indices had been research-based and focused only on late- stage erosion so dental professionals had dealt with the problem once it had arisen. But GSK wishes dentists to use indices to help with identification, monitoring, prevention, as well as eventual treatment. The findings were first introduced at a symposium sponsored by GSK at the Toronto IADR meeting in July.

As dental erosion is a relatively new field, experts agreed that there was a wide variation in methods of detection, analysis and interpretation. Therefore, GSK asked research clinicians to devise a consistency of approach that would introduce best clinical practice in order to help manage the condition with an ultimate aim of prevention instead of intervention.

The BEWE index has been designed as the BPE to provide a simple scoring system that is reproducible and transferable, as well as appropriate for use in conjunction with existing diagnostic criteria. It can be used to record clinical findings and to assist in the decision making process for management of erosive tooth wear.

It works as a partial scoring system, recording the most severely affected surface in a sextant. The cumulative score guides the management of the condition for the practitioner.

It grades the appearance or severity of wear on the teeth from 0 for no surface loss up to 3 for hard tissue loss across more than 50 per cent of the surface area. Buccal, facial, occlusal and lingual surfaces are examined with the highest score recorded on the BEWE grid.

Speaking about how the BEWE index could be used, Dr. Soha Shirodaria of GSK said: "It is acknowledged now that there is a real need to get consensus in this area. The BEWE is aimed at developing an internationally accepted, standardised and validated practitioner tool. It will encourage and enable dental healthcare professionals to pay more attention to erosive wear and in the long run will be beneficial for patient care. I am pleased that GSK is keen to continue their support of this research and we look forward to opportunities to implement the index in the future."

For more information, go to GSK Sensodyne.

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