Enamel fluorosis occurs when a higher than recommended concentration of fluoride is consumed during tooth development. There are varying degrees of fluorosis demonstrating spots from white to black and in severe cases, severe pitting is apparent. Over time the involved teeth will chip and wear easier. From a cosmetic standpoint, this condition can cause embarrassment, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem problems.
Causes of enamel fluorosis
- When an individual receives greater than .7-1 ppm fluoride levels in their drinking water during tooth development.
- When children drink water with high natural levels of fluoride.
- Prescribing fluoride tablets for children with developing teeth without researching the amount of fluoride already in the drinking water.
- Ingestion of fluoridated toothpaste while consuming other sources of systemic fluoride.
Prevention of enamel fluorosis
- Know the concentration of fluoride in your community drinking water.
- Ask questions should your dentist and /or physician recommend prescribing a dietary source of fluoride.
- Never allow your children to swallow their toothpaste because toothpaste contains fluoride
Correcting enamel fluorosis
- In mild cases, spots can be removed from the enamel and white fillings can be placed.
- In children with more severe cases affecting the entire tooth, direct bonding (see Composite Veneers) will greatly improve cosmetics and self confidence.
- Once the patient has reached maturity, the affected teeth can be covered with Porcelain Crowns or Porcelain Veneers, a more permanent solution than direct bonding.