Brushing our teeth daily is an important aspect of healthy dental health. One of the essential ingredients used to keep the teeth clean is fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in soil, water, as well as some food. Due to its beneficial qualities, fluoride is added to toothpaste, mouthwash and drinking water. In recent times, debates on the possible dangers of fluoride on health have emerged. Some people believe that fluoride causes problems for the teeth, bones, and neurological development. In this article, we will discuss the dangers of fluoride, examining it from a dentist’s perspective.
Fluoride And Its Risks
Fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay. It is a mineral which is derived from fluorine. When consumed, fluoride protects the teeth from decay by remineralization and demineralization. While fluoride protects the teeth, it comes with some side effects such as skeletal fluorosis and dental fluorosis. The side effects of fluoride only occur when you are exposed to an excessive amount. Below are some of the risks of excess fluoride.
Fluoride causes dental fluorosis in infants. Childhood is a period when the teeth are developing, and as such, exposure to excess fluoride can result in dental fluorosis. The effects of dental fluorosis are typically mild, as it does not affect the strength of the teeth. Rather, it leaves tiny streaks and specks, thereby causing discolouration of the teeth. To avoid dental fluorosis, it is important to avoid exposing children to fluoride. Simply breastfeed infants or feed them formula milk that is prepared with fluoride-free water. For children that are below the age of 6, ensure that their mouthwash or toothpaste does not contain fluoride.
Another side effect of exposure to an excessive amounts of fluoride is skeletal fluorosis. Skeletal fluorosis is a bone condition that causes bones to harden and become less elastic. Skeletal fluorosis causes pain and damage to joints and bones over time. It also increases the risk of fractures and reduced joint mobility.
Excess fluoride can also result in thyroid problems. This refers to hyperparathyroidism, which is the unregulated secretion of parathyroid hormones. This causes a higher concentration of calcium in the blood and reduced concentration in the bones. The lower level of calcium in the bones increases the risk of fractures.
Exposure to excessive volume of fluoride can also lead to poisoning. Fluoride poisoning can cause excessive saliva, muscle spasms and seizures, vomiting and nausea, and abdominal pain.
Other health issues that have been associated with excess fluoride include neurological problems. It can cause poorer cognitive performance. Skin problems include acne, cardiovascular problems including heart failure, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, myocardial damage and arterial calcification. It can also cause thyroid dysfunction, reproductive issues, and bone conditions like osteoarthritis and bone cancer.
If you are dealing with any symptom of fluoride danger, it is best to contact a dentist in Arana Hills to get the necessary medical attention.