Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in the environment. It is added as a supplement to the water supply in the United States to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is commonly used to strengthen the enamel in dentistry which is the outer layer of your teeth. Fluoride helps prevent cavities.
What is fluoride used for?
In the context of human health, fluoride is mainly used to improve dental health. You can sometimes find it in your local water supply and many over-the-counter (OTC) products:
- Brushing teeth like ointment
- Wash your face
- Supplementary part
If you tend to get lots of cavities, your dentist may suggest using a prescription oral wash with fluoride. These rinses usually have a higher concentration of fluoride than OTC alternatives.
Fluoride is used:
- In medical imaging scans such as PET scans
- As a cleaning agent
- To make Teflon, steel, and aluminum products
Because of its ability to protect against tooth decay, fluoride is added to drinking water as well as toothpaste and mouthwash in public supplies. Tooth decay is also described as dental caries.
Fluoride supplements have been found to prevent tooth decay in infants, children, and adults. Fluoride uses this beneficial effect on the teeth through direct contact and it develops the teeth which still protects from the development of cavities under the gums.
Fluoride is believed to help prevent tooth decay in two wounds: preventing the overgrowth of bacteria and mineralizing teeth.
Inhibiting the excess growth of bacteria
Fluoride has been shown to reduce the excessive growth of certain bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Fluoride, which is an ionic element, lowers the pH level of the mouth, makes the oral environment more acidic and reduces hospitality to bacteria.
Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguinis, and Porphyromonas gingivalis are three types of oral (oral) bacteria that are inhibited by fluoride.
Fluoride interacts with teeth to form a substance called fluorapatite, which minerals in the teeth. Mineralization is a process of chemical hardening, an effect that prevents tooth decay (breakage). Interestingly, since fluorite is not a natural ingredient in teeth, it is beneficial and has not been found to cause any harm to teeth.
Fluorapatite mineralization caused by fluoride supplementation helps prevent tooth decay caused by food, drink, and bacteria.
In the case of human health and nutrition, fluoride is a trace element, which makes up a relatively small percentage of body composition.
Possible side effects
It is not recommended to take fluoride at more than 10 mg per day. Excess fluoride can have different effects depending on the amount of fluoride exposure and whether it occurs in the long run, or rapidly (rapidly).
Chronic overexposure to fluoride
Dental fluorosis is the most specific documented side effect of excess fluoride. There is further evidence that feeding excess fluoride increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Fluorosis can start at any age and is manifested by white spots or white lines on the teeth. Since fluoride-induced minerals can still affect even the teeth that are still developing under the gums, fluorosis can affect children who are exposed to high levels of fluoride while their teeth are still developing. Sometimes, fluorosis can produce a rough texture on the tooth surface.
Fluorosis is basically a cosmetic concern and it is not considered harmful for teeth. Fluorosis does not improve on its own and is very difficult to repair. If you develop this condition, be wary of cosmetic treatments at home, such as gels or creams for whitening teeth, as these can further distort your teeth.
Do not brush your teeth more than three times a day, do not use mouthwash more than a few times a day, and be sure to remove the mouthwash from your mouth within 30 seconds.
Excess fluoride ingestion has also been shown to cause a rare condition called skeletal fluorosis, which is characterized by stiffness or stiffness of brittle bones and joints. Skeletal fluorosis can increase the risk of bone fractures.
Acute fluoride toxicity
Acute fluoride poisoning can cause an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, especially with young children, the effects can be life-threatening.
Acute toxicity is uncommon because the concentration of fluoride in water, toothpaste, and mouthwash is too low and can cause excessive amounts of fluoride. Although it is rare, a person can accidentally ingest dangerous amounts of fluoride through industrial chemicals.
Is fluoridated water dangerous?
Researchers around the world have conducted hundreds of studies aimed at the safety of adding a low concentration of fluoride to drinking water. Except for occasional mild cases of dental fluorosis, there is no evidence that fluoride has been associated with local water supplies in the United States.
However, some people claim that fluoridated water causes a variety of health problems, including:
- IQ scores are lower in children
- Bone cancer
- Kidney disease
What benefit does fluoride provide?
Fluoride is often called nature's cavity fighter and for good reason. Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making the outer surface of your teeth (enamel) more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.
Is a fluoride treatment worth it?
It's been an essential oral health treatment for decades. Fluoride supports healthy tooth enamel and fights the bacteria that harm teeth and gums. Tooth enamel is the outer protective layer of each tooth. Fluoride is especially helpful if you're at high risk of developing dental caries, or cavities.
What are some of the side effects of fluoride?
Higher doses are unsafe and can weaken bones and ligaments, and cause muscle weakness and nervous system problems. High doses of fluoride in children before their permanent teeth come through the gums can cause tooth discoloration.
Does fluoride make your teeth stronger?
Where plaque breaks down the tooth, fluoride builds it up! Fluoride, a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, protects teeth from cavity-causing bacteria by making tooth enamel more resistant to bacteria's acid attacks.
Who needs fluoride?
It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. This is the timeframe during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. However, adults benefit from fluoride, too.
What happens if you eat after fluoride?
The acid attack demineralizes the enamel weakening it and even thinning the enamel. Fluoride is a natural mineral. It absorbs back into the enamel and replaces the lost minerals creating a vicious circle. Demineralize and remineralize.