(HealthDay News) – Manifestation of dental erosion caused by illicit drug use or excessive soda consumption needs to be distinguished from dental caries, according to case studies published in the March/April issue of General Dentistry.

Mohamed A. Bassiouny, DMD, PhD, from Temple University in Philadelphia, uses three case studies to identify the unique clinical features of generalized dental erosion, highlight the resemblances between dental erosion and dental caries, and recognize the unambiguous differences in their fundamental characteristics.

Bassiouny notes that dental erosion lesions associated with abusive intake of soda could demonstrate similar clinical features and characteristics of destruction in the hard dental tissues as those seen in patients who abuse methamphetamines and crack cocaine. The degree of dentin lesion discoloration, which is related to the sugar/acid interaction in the medium, is the only difference. Differentiation of these lesions from dental caries is necessary.

“Failing to identify the causative etiology could lead to a wrongful diagnosis that could in turn adversely affect treatment planning and misdirect a specified prevention protocol,” Bassiouny writes.

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