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Fluorosis Information

Fluorosis is the excessive accumulation of fluoride in the body, particularly in teeth and banes, caused by taking in too much fluoride. Fluoride causes dental fluorosis by damaging the enamel-forming cells, called ameloblasts. The damage to these cells results in a mineralization disorder of the teeth, whereby the porosity of the sub-surface enamel is increased. Fluorosis is not limited to humans, and can affect any aspect of the ecosystem. There are three types of Fluorosis: dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, and systemic fluorosis. The dental effects of fluorosis develop much earlier than the skeletal effects in people exposed to large amounts of fluoride. Clinical dental fluorosis is characterized by staining and pitting of the teeth. In more severe cases all the enamel may be damaged. The tooth becomes more porous, with porosity of the tooth affected increasing relative to the degree of fluorosis. Most cases of fluorosis result from young children taking fluoride supplements or swallowing fluoride toothpaste when the water they drink is already fluoridated. In more severe fluorosis, the teeth can become pitted and have brown, gray or black spots, and the enamel can be misshapen. Fluorosis can be caused by exposure to some industrial or agriculture contaminants, or consumption of highly fluoridated water.

Fluorosis is a cosmetic problem that usually does not affect health. Severe fluorosis weakens tooth enamel, harms bones and may lead to anaemia by reducing red blood cell production, but is usually seen nly in adults after prolonged high intake. The risk of fluorosis can be greatly reduced by properly supervising fluoride use in infants and children, especially up to age 6 when the teeth are developing. Other conditions may look like fluorosis. Developmental defects and craniofacial problems can cause disruptions in the enamel or dentin of the teeth. Although primary teeth may be affected by dental fluorosis, the condition tends to affect permanent teeth more than primary teeth. Acute high-level exposure to fluoride causes immediate effects of abdominal pain, excessive saliva, nausea and vomiting. Seizures and muscle spasms may also occur. Treatment options for fluorosis vary and will depend in part on the severity of the fluorosis and what you can afford. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings applied to pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay by creating a physical barrier against dental plaque. Applying dental sealants to tooth surfaces with pits and fissures shortly after the teeth erupt helps prevent decay.

Causes of Fluorosis

The common causes and risk factor's of Fluorosis include the following:

  • Excessive swallowing of fluoride toothpaste.
  • A chronic overdosage of fluoride tablets.
  • Excessive fluoride in tap water.
  • Exposure to some industrial or agriculture contaminants.

Symptoms of Fluorosis

Some sign and symptoms related to Fluorosis are as follows:

  • Abnormally darkened or stained teeth.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Chalky white patches on the teeth.
  • Weak teeth.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • The patches soon become stained yellow or brown to give a characteristic mottled appearance.

Treatment of Fluorosis

Here is list of the methods for treating Fluorosis:

  • More serious cases and cases involving the front teeth can be treated by removing the surface-stained areas through tooth whitening or other procedures.
  • Fluorosis can be prevented by drinking rain-water in high-fluoride areas.
  • Severe cases of fluorosis can be covered with restorations, such as bonding, crowns or veneers.
  • Anyone on fluoride tablets should take only the recommended dose.


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