Who doesn’t like white teeth? Well, we all do like our teeth to be white and our smile as perfect as it can be. But sometimes we get some white blotches on our teeth which are different from the natural white. White spots on your teeth could be a sign of a problem. One of the causes of this discolouration could be dental fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic condition which is caused by the overexposure of fluoride during the first 8 years of your life. They make your teeth discoloured which sometimes only your dentist can notice.
Symptoms of Dental Fluorosis
Dental fluorosis is more of a cosmetic problem than an actual dental disease. But it does lead to a few changes in your teeth including:
- Mild changes in enamel which only a dentist can notice
- White or brown discolouration or grey spots on the enamel
- Tooth surface irregularities
Causes of Dental Fluorosis
- Inappropriate uses of fluoride-containing products such as toothpaste
- Taking fluoride supplements
- Tobacco consumption
- Fluoridated beverages
- Fluoride –rich foods such as tea, gelatin, fluoridated salt and many more
- Diet rich in fat
- Calcium deficiency can also lead to the development of dental fluorosis
- Certain medication
Dental fluorosis can be prevented by limiting the intake of fluoride. This will minimize the effects and you can do this by:
- Use alternate water resources such as surface water, rainwater and groundwater; just make sure you are drinking water which is safe.
- Remove excessive fluoride from drinking water.
- Improve eating habits by including foods rich in calcium, vitamin C, antioxidants and iron.
- Breast milk is low in fluoride so breastfeeding can be helpful to children.
- Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar and are acidic
Expected Duration of Dental Fluorosis
The spots and stains left by fluorosis are permanent and may darken over time.
Also read: How to Keep your Mouth and Teeth Healthy
Fluorosis is not a dental problem so it only affects the appearance of your teeth. This is not a serious condition and not always requires treatment as most of the times it occurs only on the back teeth. In cases where the white spots appear on the front teeth, only surface-stained areas are removed through tooth whitening or other procedures.
In severe cases of dental fluorosis, the teeth can be covered with crowns or veneers.
Since dental fluorosis only affects the appearance of your teeth, it does not cause any cavities or other dental problems.
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