Dental fluorosis affects the appearance of teeth in children and can range from minor flecks of white to dark brown patches. Although it is not dangerous for adults, children who are overly exposed to fluoride during their formative years are at risk. Dental fluorosis occurs in children as much as one in every four Americans ages six to 49. If you have this condition, you should seek treatment as soon as possible.
The symptoms of dental fluorosis can range from light to dark brown stains and rough, pitted enamel. In children, teeth should be smooth and creamy white. However, if your child shows white streaks or spots on their teeth, they should visit the dentist. Even mild fluorosis affects less than 25 percent of the surface area. However, if you notice white spots on your child’s teeth, they may have dental fluorosis.
Some researchers have also examined the progression of dental fluorosis in children. According to the data from NSAOH 2004-0623 and NSAOH 2016-18, dental fluorosis peaks in the first three years of life. This study compared the two surveys using the same examination protocol, sampling method, and trainers. A significant difference was observed between the two surveys. A similar trend was seen for both sexes.
Dental fluorosis can be mild, moderate, or severe. The condition is characterized by an increased amount of porosity in the tooth’s enamel. Severe fluorosis can lead to the decay of the tooth’s enamel or result in a pitted or bumpy surface. The tooth’s overall form can be severely disfigured if untreated. Therefore, it is imperative to seek treatment as soon as possible.
The good news is that fluorosis can be treated in children. Early treatment is important for the condition’s prevention. In mild cases, fluorosis does not result in any damage to the tooth, but it is still important to get it treated. Teeth whitening, veneers, and other cosmetic dentistry techniques can help children overcome this condition and achieve a bright smile. Although fluorosis is rarely harmful for children, it can be unsightly for the adult teeth.
High fluoride levels interfere with the mineralization process of the enamel, causing voids in the crystal structure of the enamel and enhanced porosity. Fluoride causes cytotoxic effects in dental pulp cells and the ameloblast. In the end, fluoride causes brown discoloration of the dentin. Fluoride can also cause the decay of teeth. As such, fluoride-free water supplies are an effective means of preventing dental fluorosis.
In Australia, one in ten adults has dental fluorosis (TF score of 2). This is comparable across sexes and age groups, but is significantly higher among people born in the 1980s and 1970s. The difference is greatest among people who live in large cities and are from the richest class. The study also includes people living in areas with the highest SEIFA scores. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most significant factor is the accumulated fluoride exposure.