[Tooth wear in Hindu betel nut chewers].
Literature data describe the impact of certain factors on oral health. Very well known is habitual chewing of different plant products, including tobacco, which depending on the geographical area and the substances used, have various names. It has been estimated that approximately 200 million residents of the West Pacific Rim and South-East Asia indulge in betel chewing. Betel is composed of a leaf of the betel pepper, lime, tobacco and the nut of the areca palm. This study aimed to assess the degree of abrasive changes in residents of the Korunalaya Leprosy Care Center. The examinations were carried out on 85 patients (45 females and 40 males), aged 35-95 years, at the local dental surgery. Patients had their teeth assessed and they were further interviewed as to the duration of their habit with regard to their sex and age (35-44; 45-64 and > or = 65 years). The abrasive changes were evaluated using Gerasimov's 7-degree scale. Interview data indicate that 71.76% of the patients were habitual betel chewers. Among female patients, third-degree abrasion was the most frequent change while among males--fifth degree (53.3% and 45.0%, respectively). The abrasive changes, increasing with age, can be attributed to the duration of betel chewing. It is worth noticing that a vegetarian diet can be a contributing factor to abrasion as most of the food consumed by Hindus are plants.