Flouride : A Friend or Enemy

Dr Priya Rani
According to a survey book in Jammu & Kashmir, level of flouride in hilly areas (Doda) in drinking water was 1.44-3.84 ppm (parts per million) in affected villages which is greater than optimum level of flouride. The consumption of flouride was also found to be high in form of tea. In controlled area flouride level was 1.13 ppm, only 12.58 percent of the school children were affected with dental flourosis where as in area with high flouride level (1.44-3.84 ppm) 49.07 percent school children showed varying degrees of dental flourosis. The urinary flouride level were high in the affected area school children than non-affected school children. Whereas optimum level of flouride in drinking water is 0.7 milligram per litre of water (previously it was a range of 0.7-1.2 miligrams), the concentration of flouride in majority of the samples (99.59%) are within acceptable limit of 1 mg /L. In 1 location (0.40% of total samples) the flouride concentration. varies from 1.01-1.50 mg/L are within permissible limit as prescribed. None show 1.50 mg/L flouride concentration. Those samples are having flouride concentration. which may be due to geogenic sources. Those samples are generally taken from network of open wells, generally dug wells for drinking purpose. A total of 261 wells are being monitored for this purpose by Central Ground Water Board, North western Himalayan Region in J&K four times a year (May (20th-31st) August (20th-31st) Nov. (1 & 10th) and January 1st & 10th) 2017.
For exact value of flouride level in your drinking water you can checked by home remedies. Flouride is beneficial to teeth because it helps to rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel slow down the loss of minerals from tooth enamel, which can prevent tooth cavities and reverse early signs of tooth decay.
It prevents the growth of harmful oral bacteria. When bacteria in your mouth breakdown sugar and carbs they produce acids that eat away all the menerals in tooth enamel.This loss of minerals is called Dimeralization. Flouride helps to remineratize youth tooth enamel which can prevent tooth cavities and reverse early signs of tooth decay; while flouride is naturally ocuring compound it can still causes side effects when consumed in large doses.
Public health actions are needed to provide sufficient flouride intake in areas where this is lacking so as to minimize tooth decay. This can be done through water flouridation when this is not possible through salt or milk flouridation or use of dental care products containing flouride or by adding a low-sugar diet. Flouride is a mineral in your bones, teeth. It is also found naturally in water, soil, plants, rocks, air. Flouride is commonly used in Dentistry to strengthen enamel which is outer layer of teeth. Flouride help to prevent cavities. It is also added in small amounts to public water in many countries, this process is called Water Flouridation. Water flouridation is controlled adjustment of flouride to public water supply to prevent tooth Decay. Flouridated water contains flouride at a level that is effective for preventing cavities, this can occur naturally or by adding flouride. You can sometimes find in local water supply and in many over the counter products including tooth paste, mouth rinses, supplements.
Flouride intake has both beneficial effects in reducing dental caries and negative effects in causing dental and skeltal Flourosis. Too much consumption of flouride causes Dental Flourosis, it is a common disorder characterized by hypomineralization of tooth enamel caused by ingestion of excessive flouride during enemal formation. It appears as a range of visual changes in enamel causing degrees of intrinsic tooth discoloration and , in some cases physical damage to the teeth. The severity of the condition is dependent on dose, duration, and age of individual during the exposure. The ‘very mild’ (most common) form of flourosis is characterized by small, opaque ‘paper white’ areas scattered irregularly over the tooth. In mild form, the mottled patches involve up to half of the surface area of the teeth. In moderate condition teeth may be ground down and brown stains frequently disfigure’ the teeth. Severe flourosis is characterized by brown discolouration of teeth and often present a corodded- looking appearance. Teeth are weakened and suffer permanent physical damage.
Skeltal flourosis is similar to dental flourosis but it involves bones instead of teeth. Early symptoms include joint pain and stiffness. Overtime it can alter bone structure and cause calcification of ligaments. It tends to result from long term exposure of flouride often in drinking water.
Some people claim that flouridated water causes variety of health problems including low IQ scores in children, bone cancer, arthritis, kidney diseases.
If you are concerned about your flouride intake you can reduce your exposure by finding alternative sources of drinking water such as bottled water use of flouride filter, choose flouride free tooth paste.
Different flouridation methods can be used : (reverse osmosis and distillation systems) they can reduce the flouride level in water supplies. However, carbon/char coal filteration system can also be used for removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions.
Treatment : Tooth whitening and other procedures to remove surface stains; note that bleaching teeth may temporily worsen the appearance of flourosis.
Bonding which coats the tooth with a hard resin that bonds to the enamel.
* Crown
* Veeners, which are custom made shells that cover the front of the teeth to improve their appearance, these are used in case of severe flourosis.
* Calcium phosphate that is sometimes combined with methods like micro abrasion to minimize tooth discolouration.