Weakened teeth, cavities, loss of minerals from the enamel, etc. are commonly seen in people. Fluoride is viewed as an effective treatment that can help get rid of these discomforting conditions. Health experts believe that using fluoride-based OTC products can boost the strength of enamel and reverse tooth decay.
Let us understand more about the uses, advantages, and risks associated with the use of Fluoride in dental care.
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What Are The Sources Of Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral present in the teeth and bones of the body. Some of its natural sources include:
- rocks, and
Why is Fluoride used in dentistry?
Several cosmetic dentistry procedures use Fluoride to improve the strength of the outer layer of the teeth i.e., enamel.
Another important use of Fluoride is that it prevents cavities in the teeth. People who suffer from cavities are often advised to use Fluoride-based over-the-counter products such as mouthwashes, toothpaste, rinses, and supplements.
Other applications of Fluoride include:
- in medical imaging scans
- in the form of a cleaning agent
- in pesticides
- to manufacture Teflon, aluminum, and steel products
Advantages of Fluoride
Fluoride benefits teeth in several ways. Some of them being:
- renewal of weakened tooth enamel
- reducing down the rate of loss of minerals from the enamel
- reversing early symptoms of tooth disintegration
- prevention of the development of disease-causing oral bacteria
How Does Fluoride Help In Demineralization?
Demineralization happens when the bacteria present in the mouth disintegrates carbohydrates and sugar in the tooth enamel. They secrete acids that remove minerals from the tooth. This causes weakened tooth enamel that leaves your teeth susceptible to cavities causing bacteria.
Fluoride is beneficial in this case. It strengthens the tooth enamel by remineralizing the tooth enamel and delay the early symptoms of tooth decay. The use of fluoridated water, fluoride-based toothpaste, and other types of dental products are helpful to combat demineralization.
Side effects from fluoride
Though fluoride is a naturally occurring compound, its overconsumption can lead to side effects in a person. Some of the adverse effects are:
- Dental fluorosis – It is a harmless condition that it characterized by white spots on the teeth’ surface. It mostly impacts children who are below the age of 8 who haven’t developed permanent teeth.
- Skeletal fluorosis: This condition alters the bones in the dental structure and can lead to the calcification of ligaments. Some of the symptoms you can experience in this condition are stiffness and pain in the joints.
Prolonged excess consumption of fluoride can even result in several risks such as:
- low IQ scores in children
- bone cancer
- kidney disease
Fluoride is effective in fighting against cavities and enhancing the balance between loss and mineral gain from the tooth enamel. It is also beneficial in inhibiting the activity of disease-causing oral bacteria. However, be mindful of Fluoride consumption as it can lead to fluorosis.