Drinking water is the main source of fluorine for our body. But who knows, what amount of fluoride does the water that we drink contain? Meanwhile, it is very simple to get a glut of fluorine. The result will be obvious: unsightly white or brown spots appear on the enamel of the teeth, and the dentist will diagnose "dental fluorosis". Is it possible to cure this disease and how should it be done?
Dental fluorosis is a disease that occurs due to prolonged intake of high doses of fluoride. That water consumption affects the content of this trace element in the bones. Foods and even toothpaste contain fluoride, but it is much worse absorbed from it than the fluoride containing in the water. Therefore dental fluorosis is endemic, that is a disease that is characteristic for a particular place, where the water is saturated with fluorine. There is also a professional fluorosis. It occurs in workers of the enterprises, where the content of fluoride in the air is exceeded. However, this type of disease is not very common in the population.
The most susceptible to endemic dental fluorosis are children and adolescents whose permanent teeth have not yet erupted and the enamel has not strengthened. The daily requirement of fluoride in this age is about 2-3 mg, this amount of the trace element the child should get out of food and water. Maximum permissible concentration of fluorine in water is 1.5 mg/l, and it will be enough for the development of this disease. Adults, with already formed tooth enamel, do not get sick with fluorosis, because the daily requirement is about 4 mg. However, if the fluorine content in the drinking water exceeds 6 mg/l, then adults are also liable to the disease.
There are several stages of fluorosis. Each person can easily detect signs of the disease. It will be enough to take a mirror and look at the enamel of the teeth in detail. Usually lesions are symmetrical, and more often are expressed on the premolars, first and second molars, incisors and canines of both the upper and lower jaw, on both the external and the inner side of the teeth. Classification of dental fluorosis is built according to the degree of development of the disease. There are the following forms of dental fluorosis: questioned, very mild, mild, moderate, and severe.
With questioned form of fluorosis the color of the enamel remains almost unchangeable. Very mild form of fluorosis is accompanied with the appearance of the milky- white bands or small spots on individual teeth. In this case, the lesion does not exceed 25 % of the total area of the tooth crown. With mild form of fluorosis the area of the tooth covered by chalky spots and stripes is about 50%. Moderate form of fluorosis shows itself with brown or yellowish spots, in addition to the chalky spots. This form of dental fluorosis is also characterized by susceptibility to caries. A severe form of dental fluorosis affects most of the tooth crown. Besides severe pigmentation, the distortion of the structure of hard tissues also occurs. The tooth crown is deformed and the enamel is subjected to abrasion and chipping. In this form of fluorosis the bone tissue of the skeleton can also be affected.
In children and adults the treatment of fluorosis should be started with reducing of the daily dose of fluorine. If it is impossible to completely change the water, professionals recommend to use special filters for defluorination. You should also completely abandon the toothpastes with fluoride; eat less fluorizated products (marine fish, spinach, butter, tea). All these actions will not resolve the already formed stains on the enamel, but will stop the further development of the disease.
Many wonder if the procedure of the teeth whitening is able to treat the fluorosis. This method can be applied in the mild or very mild form of the dental fluorosis, when the patches on the teeth are still milky-white. After the teeth whitening the colors of the teeth and patches will become equal. Also, slight defects can be sanded and the process of enamel remineralization can be carried out. But when the spots have already been darkened, it will be possible to get rid of fluorosis only be by means of prosthetic with orthopedic appliances such as veneers, lumineers or crowns.