The relation between fluoride and dentistry

Introduction.

Fluoride being a very important mineral more so in growth and development of strong teeth and healthy bones has over the last few years seen an increase in fluoridation . It is however important to note that apart from the United states of American, almost all the other European countries and western Nation countries do not fluoridate their water.

This is because some health research has shown that countries that fluoridate their water barely have a considerable difference in the number of tooth decay cases as opposed to those who don’t.

How fluoride works

One of the more prominent uses of fluoride is preventing tooth decay. Just to get an idea of how it works, it’s good to understand that mechanism behind tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the outer surface of a tooth is corroded by acid which is produced by bacteria found on plaque.

When children take in limited amount of fluoride that is below the age of seven it is incorporated in the development of the enamel making it more resistant to tooth decay as well as strengthening teeth.

When developing teeth are subjected to demineralization and demineralization in the presence of low level of fluoride , saliva and plaque it encourages demineralization in which the enamel crystals formed are of higher quality .

Fluoride has also been known to reduce the amount of acid produced by plaque bacteria. This is a major factor that prevents tooth decay. When the plaque bacteria concentrates on the fluoride present this ends up being an inhibitor towards functions of certain enzymes which are necessary for production of the acid. Thereby preventing tooth decay which would have otherwise occurred.

Tissues affected by fluoride

As opposed to popular belief fluoride does not only affect the teeth and its significance stretch beyond just the field of dentistry. It has been proven to affect the thyroid gland , pineal gland as well as the brain. This in the long run goes on to affect even the body’s blood sugar level.

An imbalance in the fluoride in excessive intake which goes on to affect the thyroid gland and its function it leads to lower its performance in fighting infections. It has also been linked to certain psychological problems such as dementia.

Effects of overexposure to fluoride

A study showed that up to as many as forty percent of American teenagers have been under the overexposure to fluoride. This has resulted to fluorosis and other related complications.

It is however not easy to tell just how much this overexposure has resulted to but it’s clear that dental appointment have been on the increase as a result.

Conclusion

It is clear that fluoride does play a vital role in dentistry more so if preventing tooth decay is anything to go by.

This should be however be in limited amounts . Excessive intake has it consequences.