Fluoride is a crucial mineral for both children and adults, as it can stop cavities from forming and even reverse the first stages of tooth decay. Enamel is strengthened, making teeth less susceptible to erosion from sweets and oral germs. However, dental fluorosis can develop when fluoride levels get too high. You should consult your gentle dentistry in Palm Harbor, Florida if any symptoms persist.
Discover more about what triggers fluorosis, how it’s treated, and how to avoid getting it in the first place right here.
How Fluoride Affects Your Teeth
Too much fluoride in the diet during childhood can lead to dental fluorosis, a disorder characterized by discoloration of the teeth’s enamel. Discoloration of the teeth, either brown or white, is an aesthetic issue. Because permanent teeth are still developing, fluorosis is a risk for children younger than eight. Fluorosis cannot develop on fully developed teeth. To the tune of one in four Americans between the ages of 6 and 49, moderate fluorosis is real.
What factors lead to fluorosis of the teeth?
Too much fluoride exposure when a child’s teeth still grow under the gums can result in dental fluorosis. Most brands of toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride. Young children often swallow toothpaste when they brush without adult supervision. Dental fluorosis is a long-term side effect of using products with high fluoride concentrations, such as mouthwash and toothpaste.
The procedure of adding fluoride to public water supplies is known as fluoridation. Fluorosis of the teeth can occur if one consumes water with too much fluoride.
Can You Describe the Symptoms?
Teeth darkening is the only sign of dental fluorosis. This purely cosmetic issue can cause white “streaks” or “splotches” to form on the tooth enamel.
It is possible to classify cases of fluorosis using the following terms:
- Questionable: the enamel has a few little white specks and blotches here and there.
- Small, opaque, white spots covering less than 25% of the tooth surface are considered very mild.
- A mild case of enamel discoloration would involve less than half the enamel surface turning white.
- To a moderate degree: more than half of the tooth surfaces are discolored by white or light brown stains
- The severity level is high when larger white, light brown, or dark brown patches cover all surfaces of the enamel. Possible roughness and pitting of the tooth enamel (small depressions in the enamel).
- Most cases of fluorosis are moderated and do not lead to any long-term issues with teeth.