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DENTAL
SOLUTIONS

Fluorosis

Fluorosis

What is fluorosis?
 
Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that is found in the tooth caused due to over exposure of fluoride, beyond the optimal range for that geographic area, during the developmental stages of tooth. It usually affects children between three months and eight years who consume high amount of fluoride rich water, food and drinks.
 
One of the major reasons of fluorosis is high consumption of fluoride during the initial stage of tooth development. Fluoride damages ameloblasts, the enamel cells. Damage caused in these ameloblasts results in a mineralization disorder, i.e. immature enamel, which eventually leads to high-level porosity of the enamel’s sub-surface.
 
The sources of fluoride may include any of the following:
 
  • One of the major sources of fluoride is drinking water, having high levels of fluoride
  • Products like bottled water containing excess fluoride, cookies, and baby foods containing fluoride can lead to fluorosis
  • Another source is toothpastes containing fluoride. Excess usage of fluoride toothpastes during the ages 3 months to 8 yrs (when the milk and permanent teeth are in developmental stages), results in dental fluorosis
  • Parents give medicines to children that contain fluoride in order to increase teeth strength. Excess consumption of these medicines may lead to fluorosis
  • Intake of aerated beverages at the early stage of childhood causes fluorosis
  • Drinking water also contains fluoride, but if the level of fluoride is more than the recommended range then it may lead to severe case of dental as well as skeletal/ bone fluorosis.

Fluorosis

  • In some cases where the severity of dental fluorosis is mild, the changes are unnoticeable with tiny white streaks or flecks on the tooth enamel that can be identified only by a dentist
  • In moderate cases, large white spots/ patches are found on teeth
  • When the condition is severe, the tooth surface becomes rough and pitted with a change of color from white to yellow or brown

Fluorosis

Fluorosis is not a disease, but just a cosmetic condition. Once fluorosis occurs, it is permanent. It cannot be cured completely. Fluorosis affects the appearance of teeth and does not lead to cavity or loss of teeth.  The best treatment that a dentist follows is, to cover the stains by masking. Depending on the severity, patients are advised to undergo tooth whitening (bleaching) and other procedures like covering the tooth with bonding, crowns, micro / macro abrasion and composite restorations. When fluorosis occurs on any of the back teeth, they may require cosmetic fillings or complete crowns covering them (depending upon the severity of the fluorosis level) so as to avoid the eventual eroding and loss of tooth structure.
 
  1. Tooth Whitening:
    Tooth whitening is done in mild cases of fluorosis. In this treatment, the outer stained layer of the enamel is removed by abrasion.
  2. Micro / macro abrasion:
    In micro abrasion, an abrasive grit in a mild acid (mostly HCL) solution is used to polish strains. If the severity is little high, then macro abrasion is used with a composite finishing bur or diamond.
  3. Composite Bonding:
    After eroding the affected part, the dentist covers the tooth with a composite filling using glue. This filling matches the color of the other teeth.
  4. Veneer:
    In this treatment, the affected part of the tooth is removed and the dentist takes an impression of the tooth. A veneer is made up of porcelain that perfectly fits the shaved part. Now, this veneer is fixed on the shaved part to form a complete tooth.
  5. Crown:
    Crowing is the most common treatment for fluorosis. The dentist shaves the affected tooth around and places an artificial crown over the tooth.

Though fluorosis cannot be treated naturally, it can be prevented by proper intake of food. Parents should provide their children with enough amount of food that contains calcium. Calcium is required to keep the teeth healthy and strong.  Vitamin C is commonly found in fruits like kiwi, papaya, orange, guava, fresh herbs, etc. Excess amount of calcium consumption might lead to kidney problems.

Vitamin D is equally important as Vitamin C. Vitamin D helps the body in absorbing calcium. Food products like milk, salmon, cereals, orange juice, eggs, etc. are rich in Vitamin D.

It is better to follow preventive measures than to be affected by fluorosis. Practicing simple home remedies will prevent fluorosis.

  • Avoid using fluoridated and flavored toothpaste on your own
  • Do not let children brush more than twice a day
  • Make sure that children use toothpaste but not more than a pea size amount
  • Keep an eye on children from swallowing toothpaste
  • Avoid using baby food items containing fluoride
  • Check the fluoride level in drinking water before giving your children
  • Do not give fluoride drops or tablets without pediatrician’s advice

Following these simple rules will keep you and your family healthy and fluorosis free.





 
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