The Evolving Decline in Industrial Dental Erosion and It's Revised Detection and Management
Japanese occupational safety and health laws require dental examinations for workers who have workplace exposure to strong acids and specific special chemicals. This study's dental examinations have been performed over the past eight years. Data in the form of annual images were collected during exams at a modern chemical production facility which uses various concentrations of nitric, hydrochloric and sulfuric acids with area ventilation and worker environmental chemical protection for those substances. Images of the front teeth and tongue were obtained once a year to monitor and improve detection of subtle dynamic changes in tooth surfaces and oral mucosa. Dental information concerning acid workers has reported a marked decline in the incidence of moderate to severe dental erosion in the past few decades. An innovation in the exam methods led to several interesting findings. Dental erosion in a reduced form was identified in about half of the workers, which suggests that erosion is still occurring even at a modern production facility. Dental erosion was most likely to be identified in plant workers with historical and routine exposures to acid quantities in excess of 100Kg. of acid exposure. In some workers, a subtle progression of dental erosion, not previously diagnosed through the normal on site visual exams, has been identified through digital dental images taken chronologically.
松本歯学 31 (1), 27-35, 2005-04-30