Every person sooner or later faces problems that require dental intervention. This fact is caused by both natural aging processes and the influence of external factors that negatively affect the state of dentition. Postponing treatment (and in some cases, expensive prosthetics) allows preventive measures aimed at strengthening the health of the jaw region, and first of all, the enamel surface of the crowns. One such procedure that prevents the potential development of fluorosis is the saturation of tissues with the missing elements using water saturated with fluoride compounds. However, this method requires special care due to the possible side effects that usually occur when trying to self-medicate. What are the benefits and harms of fluoride for the human body, how does it affect teeth, and when should you use a fluoridation service?
The positive effect of firming dental procedures is due to simplicity. The trace element with which the composition is saturated is initially included in the structure of tooth enamel, performing a protective function. With sufficient content, the likelihood of developing caries and other pathological formations decreases, susceptibility to an aggressive environment and acids produced as a result of the decay of bacteria decreases, and natural restoration of the outer layer occurs, protecting the pulp and dentin from direct exposure.
The first studies devoted to the study of the question of how fluorine is useful (or harmful) for teeth, in what tissues it is contained, and what relation it has to caries prevention, were carried out by American dentists at the end of the first half of the last century. The results of practical tests have shown that the application of fluoride with a cotton swab to the surface, in the area in which there are carious lesions, slows down the spread of the pathological condition to adjacent areas. Bacteria are deprived of the opportunity to fully produce harmful enzymes that can potentially destroy the enamel layer of both milk and indigenous units. In addition, the fluoride compound contributes to the restoration of the outer coating – a remineralization process that compensates for the gradual leaching of calcium and other trace elements.
Many dentists note that in childhood, that is, during the period of active growth and development of the body, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of the effect of fluoride on enamel for the condition of the teeth. In the process of formation, the structure is replenished with phosphorus and calcium ions, gradually accumulating in all layers of the crown, and first of all in the surface, the polymerization of which makes it possible to create reliable protection against acid imbalance. With sufficient intake of fluoride, the concentration of fluorapatite increases, which also increases resistance to negative factors.
Positive and negative effects of fluoridation
Complex processing allows the achievement of positive results, which is due to the interaction of the microelement with the original tissue structure. Speaking about how fluorine affects teeth and why it is necessary to maintain its balance, it should be noted that the natural component stops the demineralization cycle and slows down the development of caries.
According to the results of studies, the bacteria in the oral cavity, in the process of decomposition, actively secrete lactic acid, which disrupts the initial balance and provokes calcium leaching from the enamel. As a result, an increase in the susceptibility of dentin to temperature changes and mechanical stress, against which patients experience pain and severe discomfort. Fluorides increase the strength of the connective structure and prevent the transition to a pathological state. In addition, the antiseptic properties of fluorine provide a bactericidal effect, due to which the number of pathogenic microorganisms accumulating on the surface is reduced.
At the same time, it should be borne in mind that fluoridation is not a panacea for all diseases. Hygienic oral care is a set of procedures that requires regular observance, careful attention to the condition of the teeth and gums, as well as periodically scheduled diagnostics, which makes it possible to identify and stop negative symptoms in the early stages.
How to remove dark and black plaque and the causes of blackness on the teeth
In addition, do not forget that excess fluoride is harmful to the body. The element can provoke the development of fluorosis – a dental disease that manifests itself in the form of dark spots that form on the surface of the enamel coating. Over time, pigmented areas deepen, gradually destroying the crown. However, the usual use of a paste with a high concentration does not lead to such consequences – this requires the systematic use of large doses of the component. Practice shows that most often the pathology is diagnosed in patients living in regions with a high content of fluorides in drinking water.
How fluoride enters the body
The daily intake rate specified in the official WHO recommendations are 1.3-1.9 mg. A third of this volume comes with food, and the remaining share – with water and air, after which the microelement enters the bloodstream, and during circulation is distributed over the bone tissues. Additional sources are also:
- Fluorinated table salt.
- Hygiene products, including gels and mouth rinses.
- Medications and active supplements are prescribed by a doctor.
- Dental fluoridation procedure.
The usual average daily diet does not contain a supply sufficient for fluoride to have an effect on tooth enamel in terms of benefit or harm – the effect of the active component is limited to restoring the original balance. To meet the daily requirement, it is recommended to focus on marine fish, cabbage, and seafood, including shrimp. In addition, an increased concentration is typical for parsley and natural tea varieties.
Origins and features: interesting facts about fluorides
In general, if we talk about the features of the component under consideration from a chemical point of view, it is worth noting that in natural conditions it occurs only as a compound. Fluorine is present in thermal waters, gaseous volcanic emissions, as well as in the structure of the earth’s crust, and is distinguished by paradoxical properties:
- Among mineral poisons, it is considered the most potent, but the minimum concentration, on the contrary, benefits the human body.
- The physiological need, which ensures the full restoration of bone tissues, and the level of the critical dose, leading to toxic poisoning, are separated by a small volume range.
- Oversaturation is why fluoride can be harmful, and what is dangerous for teeth. An excess of the element leads to fluorosis, which provokes the deformation and destruction of bones and nail plates. The paradox is that similar effects occur with deficiency, so maintaining balance becomes a critical factor in maintaining health.
In addition to the fact that fluorides are an integral part of the bone structure, and are actively involved in the formation and development of the body, it is also worth noting their regenerative properties. The component accelerates the rate of fusion and healing in case of mechanical damage, trauma, and fractures protects teeth from caries, and help to increase the life of dental fillings.
What causes excessive fluoridation
According to statistics, which is based on the results of scientific research, every fifth person on the planet experiences changes associated with the oversaturation of the body with fluorine. Negative symptoms are not always pronounced or cause inconvenience in the form of a violation of aesthetics, or pain. However, long-term exposure to the systematic consumption of excessive amounts of fluoride – especially in childhood, at the stage of enamel formation – ultimately leads to the formation of characteristic spots. The critical age is the period of 6-8 years when there is an active change of bite.
However, this problem is not the only one associated with fluorine. The consequences of an excess of the component, expressed in the fragility and fragility of the bone structure, become more serious. In addition to external factors, such a condition can also be caused by insufficient control over the actions of young children – for example, quite often the pathology is the result of systematic attempts to eat toothpaste containing an increased concentration of a chemical element. To avoid consequences, it is important to closely monitor how the child performs daily hygiene procedures, pointing out mistakes, and helping to properly care for the oral cavity until an independent habit is formed.
Can cavities be cured with fluoride?
If we talk about the early stages of the development of pathology – yes, such an outcome is quite likely. Saturation of saliva with fluoride, supplied in sufficient quantities, provides a supply of the component for remineralization. Like phosphorus and calcium, the element contributes to the restoration and strengthening of enamel, preventing necrotic damage and destruction of tissues, as well as suppressing the growth of bacteria that form aggressive acids. But do not forget that the presence of visually noticeable symptoms of the formation of a carious focus is a good reason for contacting a dental clinic and undergoing a comprehensive diagnosis.
What products contain fluoride compounds
The list of hygienic preparations, characterized by an increased concentration of fluorides, is quite diverse. When choosing a specific brand, one should be guided by the professional recommendation of the attending physician, who will determine not only the appropriate option for the current clinical picture but also clarify the regularity of the composition. Among the options offered by modern manufacturers, there are several categories.
One of the easiest ways to achieve the recommended daily volume is to periodically rinse with elixirs that range from 100 to 220 ppm. The higher the indicator, the more active the recovery process, and the less likely it is that the composition will be washed off with water or other drinks consumed during the day.
Traditional daily hygiene products may include:
- Tin fluoride. A binary compound of inorganic origin prevents the formation of cavities in the enamel in the presence of various prerequisites, as well as prevents the development of gingivitis. Recommended for hypersensitivity, with prolonged use, increasing the overall resistance of the coating to acid attack.
- Sodium monophosphate. Considered by manufacturers as an “anti-caries supplement”. Due to its active properties, it can be used as a reagent that allows the fluoridation of water. However, in recent years it has been used less and less, which is due to the insufficient release rate of useful ionic trace elements.
- sodium fluoride. Effective from the point of view of remineralization, the component serves as a prophylactic against aggressive dental pathologies. It has an active effect, contributing to the growth of enamel resistance to pathogenic bacteria and acids.
- Aminofluoride. A substance of organic origin forms an analog of a film coating on the surface of the elements of the dentition, which is distributed quickly and evenly. To date, it is the most technologically advanced, but at the same time the most expensive option available among hygiene products.
How to further increase the fluoride content
The listed options are relevant for regular prevention at home, and not associated with the presence of serious medical indications. The appearance of negative symptoms is an occasion for more decisive measures designed to restore the health of the elements of the dentition.
Fluoridation of teeth in dentistry
The standard procedure available for carrying out (starting from the age of three) involves the use of special compounds that are applied to the enamel with a brush or silicone cap. The resulting ultra-thin film remains for 3-6 months and protects the coating from further damage.
Switching to a strict diet focused on foods with a high content is possible only if the patient is not allergic to fluoride. The choice of diet components depends on medical recommendations and financial capabilities, as well as on the region of residence. The best option is to increase the amount of seafood and greens, as well as the transition from coffee to green and black tea.
Vitamin supplements heavily promoted on the Internet are often either useless or harmful. You can take any drugs, even if they do not belong to the category of medicines by default, only as directed by a doctor.
The fluorinated liquid helps to quickly restore the level of the trace element, but there is an important nuance here: in this form, the component is excreted much more slowly, which significantly increases the risk of overdose.
There is still debate in the scientific community about whether fluoride is good for teeth, and whether it is needed in the composition of toothpaste and rinses – given the potential likelihood of developing fluorosis. As a substitute that also helps to strengthen the enamel, some experts consider hydroxyapatite and calcium glycerophosphate, the intake of which also promotes remineralization. However, each of the means also has its pros and cons, which you should know about even before you start taking it. If you have not yet decided how and what is the best way to protect the enamel coating, we recommend that you seek help from the specialists of Dentika dental centers, who will always help you choose a solution based on real indicators of the clinical picture.
The benefits and harms of fluoride for the human body have been studied in detail thanks to numerous scientific studies. Taking care of your own health, including regular treatment of tooth enamel from the negative effects of an acidic environment, helps to maintain an attractive smile for a long time.