Dental Fluorosis: It’s Prevention and Cure

Dental Fluorosis is also called as mottling of tooth enamel. This is a condition which generally happens at a stage when the tooth starts to develop and is seen among the younger generations. The primary cause of this condition is over exposure to fluoride. In case you happen to see tiny spots or streaks on the enamel of your teeth you need not fear as this is considered as the mildest form of the condition. However you need to worry and seek dentist appointment if you notice tooth discoloration and brown marks on your teeth.

Details about the causes of Fluorosis

To understand why fluorosis occurs we need to know that our tooth is made out of hydroxyapatite and carbonated hydroxyapatite. When the usage of fluoride increases the composition of Fluor apatite also increases which leads to the marks and spots on teeth.

Risks involved in Dental Fluorosis

The most important concern of patients suffering from Dental Fluorosis is the cosmetic changes that happen in their teeth. The change is more evident and in fact very prevalent in kids from the age of 20-30 months. Kids of the age between 1-4 years are more prone and susceptible to this condition. The best way to avoid this disease is by controlling the usage of fluoride based toothpaste at a very young age. Why parents should be controlling it is because the intensity of fluorosis depends upon amount of fluoride. The other factors which matters are age of your child, how responsive your kids’ teeth are towards fluoride attack, his/her nutrition and bone growth.

The ideal range or the level of the intake of fluoride is 0.05 to 0.07 mg however I understand that it is difficult and next to impossible to calculate this range. This is when you need to consult your dentist. He /she will tell you the optimum sources from where you can get the optimum fluoride intake. There have been many researches carried out which says that the following four elements are major contributors of Fluorosis:

Fluoridated drinking water
Fluoride supplements
Topical fluoride (especially fluoride toothpastes)
Formula prescribed for children.

It is a well known fact that fluoride is extremely important for our teeth as it gives strength to our teeth and enamel. Fluoride is also considered important in prevention of dental caries and other dental problems. However excessive use of any such material is not advised at all. It’s been said that our water must also contain fluoride but at places such rural areas where drinking water exceeds the normal fluoride content the condition Fluorosis is more prevalent. Furthermore kids who do not take adequate amount of calcium are also prone to it.

The Intake Level of Fluoride:

Age Group Reference Adequate Intake Tolerable Upper

Weight Kg (LB) (Mg/day) Intake (Mg/day)

(Infants: 0–6 months) 7 (16) 0.01 0.7

Infants: 7–12 months 9 (20) 0.5 0.9

Children: 1–3 years 13(29) 0.7 1.3

Children: 4–8 years 22(48) 1 2.2

Children: 9–13 years 40(88) 2 10

Boys: 14–18 years 64-122 3 10

Girls: 14–18 years 57(125) 3 10

Male: 19 years and over 76(166) 4 10

Female: 19 years and over 61(133) 3 10

The treatment of Dental Fluorosis is accomplished by cosmetic dentistry. The success rate of treatment entirely depends on the level of damage. The most commonly used treatments are Tooth Bleaching, micro abrasion and porcelain veneers.

Lastly I would like to say that it is up to your dentist to determine what the optimum intake of fluoride is for your child.