Too Much of a Good Thing: How Your Toothpaste Can Give You Fluorosis

Teeth Discoloration in Highlands RanchFluoride has been effective in the fight against cavities since the 20th century. This is why public water supplies in some areas are fluoridated. Many types of toothpaste also contain fluoride because of its capability to combat tooth decay.

The substance, unfortunately, has its downsides. For one thing, too much fluoride can cause a cosmetic condition called fluorosis.

What is Fluorosis?

Have you ever seen teeth that are different shades of white? This is often the case for milder cases of this condition. Fluorosis is the discoloration of the tooth’s enamel due to overexposure to fluoride. Varied cases report the discoloration can go from chalky white to yellow, to even dark brown in the most severe cases.

Willow Creek Dental suggests that there are steps to correct this condition. Many people who have fluorosis have the option to select treatments from their preferred cosmetic dentist. In select practices in the Highlands Ranch, for example, there is the option to apply porcelain or ceramic veneer atop the surface of the affected teeth. The veneer would give the appearance of consistently colored enamel.

How Do You Get Fluorosis?

Fluorosis develops before the permanent teeth erupt. This is because the condition happens to people exposed to high levels of fluoride in childhood while the permanent teeth were still within the gums. Kids younger than eight often have difficulty controlling their gag reflexes and have the tendency to swallow a large amount of their toothpaste.

Is Fluorosis All Bad?

People with fluorosis tend to have a higher resistance to tooth decay. It's just that some more severe cases of fluorosis can be too unsightly and can even be too rough in terms of texture.

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent this condition from happening. Drinking water that was not fluoridated is one way to combat fluorosis. Cutting back on coffee, tea, and processed food is another way to prevent this from happening.

Caring for your teeth is not always as easy as that. It would be wise to be aware of the things that you did not know could cause your teeth more harm than good.