You must be aware that over exposure to anything can have adverse affects on our body – over eating of foods with high fat content can contribute to conditions such as diabetes or even obesity, or over consumption of alcohol lead to severe liver problem. In a similar way, over consumption of fluoride results in a dental condition known as Dental Fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis is the appearance of faint white lines on the teeth, occurring when children consume too mush fluoride over long periods. Typically, the condition occurs when teeth are developing under the gums. The condition kick starts in the first 8 years of your life, the time when permanent teeth are developing and usually involves discoloration of teeth when compared to other teeth that have just erupted. In addition to discolored teeth, condition as stains (which vary from yellow to dark brown), irregular tooth surface or prominent pits may appear in many extreme cases.
The studies suggest that fluorosis affects one in every four Americans ages 6 to 49 and is most prominent in kids from the age 12 to 15 years. The condition is mild in most of the cases – moderate in 20 % of the cases and less severe in 1%.
While fluorosis is not a disease, the effects can be psychologically distressing and difficult to treat. It can be prevented provided thorough parental vigilance is applied.
What causes fluorosis?
Along with the excessive use of fluoride content such as toothpaste and mouthwash, other causes include consuming a higher amount of fluoride supplement at a very early age.
Symptoms of fluorosis range from unnoticeable tiny white spots to dark brown lines and pitted enamel that is tough to clean. The difference between teeth which are unaffected and the ones that are affected are easy to spot – unaffected teeth are usually smooth, glossy and white.
Should you notice white spots on your kid’s teeth, it’s recommended that you seek dentist help immediately.
Fluorosis can be specified in the following levels:
- Questionable. Enamel showing slight changes, from a few white flecks to occasional spots.
- Extremely mild. Tiny opaque paper-white areas that are scattered over less than 25 % of tooth surface.
- Mild. White opaque areas that are more extensive but affect 50% of tooth surface.
- Moderate. White opaque areas affecting more than 50% of tooth surface.
- Severe. Affecting all enamel surfaces and causing teeth to run together.
Flurouis is mild in many cases or may only affect the back teeth and requires no treatment. The appearance of affected teeth can be improved using a variety of techniques at a dental office, mostly aimed at hiding the stains.
The treatment includes the following steps:
- Teeth whitening and other cleaning procedures to remove surface stains.
- Bonding technique to cover the tooth with hard resin to the enamel.
- Crowns that are set up on your teeth.
- Veneers to cover the front of the teeth that are visibly discolored.
- You might also be recommended to use MI toothpaste, a calcium phosphate based product to reduce the discoloration of tooth.
You can help prevent Dental Fluorosis by keeping a close eye on your kids while they brush their teeth. Make them understand that toothpaste is not meant to be eaten as it could lead to various other symptoms, including vomiting. It’s your responsibly to teach your kids and help them stay healthy.
If you have any questions or concerns about dental fluorosis and its treatment, Affordable Dentist in Crowley would love to hear them.