The aim of this study was the preparation and development of a basic gradual erosion index in order to record age and gender dependent abrasion and attrition in human teeth and to review the impact of certain risk factors for an increased tooth wear. As part of a public health study in the federal states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, an inquiry into the oral health in a population sample of the urban areas Halle (Saale) and Leipzig was conducted in the period from 1998 to 1999. To ensure the representativeness of the sample, the subjects were chosen by random selection from addresses of persons in the records of residents registration offices in the cities of Halle (Saale) and Leipzig. Anamnestic, dental and social data from 901 volunteers aged 20 to 59 years were recorded in the study. A standardized evaluation procedure of study models, after an abrasion index described by Pullinger and Selligman (1993) and modified by John et. al. (2002), served as a basis for the registration of dental wear. The results of this study show that tooth wear varies depending on age and gender. The risks for an increased tooth wear are in both sexes the same. Both, dental as well as social factors, lead to an increased loss of tooth structure. The following variables showed a significant correlation with increased tooth wear in the front tooth area, resulting from the statistical analysis of the data of the participants: bruxism in one`s sleep; ingestion of aspirin, frequency of dental cleaning; type of toothbrush; frequent consumption of coke / lemonade; bite situation; head bite and bite deck. However, a cross bite is corresponding with a significantly reduced loss of substance. The treatment of wrong position of teeth by orthodontists reduces the risk of increased tooth wear as well.