Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Ungar, Peter

Committee Member/Reader

Walker, Kate

Committee Member/Second Reader

Beaulieu, Jeremy

Committee Member/Third Reader

Geisler Wheeler, Jill


This study aims to monitor and evaluate erosive tooth wear (ETW) by measurement of enamel surface thickness and texture in a clinical setting. The objective approach is fundamentally different from the standard subjective visual assessment that professionals in the dental field using the Basic Erosive Wear Evaluation (BEWE) method.

Twenty-nine hyposalivation and three control subjects were used in this longitudinal study, for a total of 597 samples (only 577 teeth were eligible for surface texture analysis) evaluated in a longitudinal study including both baseline and 12 month follow up surfaces. Each participant’s buccal surface of the tooth was first analyzed by Dr. Anderson Hara, a clinician and dental researcher at the University of Indiana’s school of dentistry. Hara and his team conducted BEWE and measured enamel thickness by cross-polarization optical coherence tomography (CP- OCT). My thesis research focused on three-dimensional microwear texture patterns of these same specimens by white light scanning confocal profilometry (WSCP). Results for both microwear patterning and enamel thickness were then compared with BEWE linear mixed- effects models and Spearman correlations were used to evaluate relationships between results for the three analytical approaches (alpha=0.05).

Overall, the results indicated that at M12 vs. baseline, the enamel thickness decreased, while BEWE scores increased. The microwear texture attributes, specifically surface roughness (Sa) and anisotropy (Str), increased with BEWE scores, but complexity (Asfc) did not. The change in surface texture parameters correlated, although roughly, with BEWEBuccal and enamel thickness over time. The change in Sa and Str values increased as BEWE scores progressed throughout the study.

In conclusion, the microwear texture data I generated for this study suggests that Sa could be a new, effective way of quantifying and monitoring erosive tooth wear in a clinical setting.


erosive tooth wear, dental enamel, enamel surface texture, microwear analysis, tooth erosion