Could Fluoride Be Bad for Teeth?

February 20, 2024

In dental care, fluoride is everywhere. From toothpaste, mouthwashes, and even in the office of your North San Antonio dentist. But could it be harmful to some people? Maybe causing allergies or other dental issues? Let's find out.

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What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water sources, soil, and certain foods. Its primary function is to strengthen tooth enamel, making teeth more resistant to decay caused by acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. This protective effect has led to the widespread use of fluoride in dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash.

How Much Is Too Much Fluoride?

The optimal fluoride level in drinking water typically falls between 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million (ppm), a guideline set forth by the U.S. Public Health Service. However, exceeding this recommended dosage through fluoride supplements or using fluoride-rich dental products may inadvertently lead to potential harm.

What Can Too Much Fluoride Do to Teeth?

Excessive fluoride intake can lead to a condition called dental fluorosis, which causes discoloration and mottling of tooth enamel. These are the symptoms:

  • Discoloration of tooth enamel, ranging from white streaks or spots to brown staining
  • Mottling or pitting of tooth surfaces
  • Visible changes in tooth texture and appearance

Is Dental Fluorosis Dangerous?

Dental fluorosis is more of a cosmetic concern but isn't harmful to your dental health.

Severe fluorosis, while rare, may lead to more pronounced discoloration and enamel damage but generally does not result in serious health issues. In extreme cases, cosmetic treatments may be necessary to improve the appearance of affected teeth.

Fluoride the Right Way

While fluoride is already present in our water, dental fluoride treatments by dentists remain essential in promoting dental health. Dentists use various methods to deliver fluoride effectively and safely such as varnishes, gels, and even foams.  

Your North San Antonio dentist will guide you on the correct usage of fluoride products, tailoring recommendations based on }your needs and risk factors.  

Fluoride Treatment Recommendations

Fluoride treatment may be recommended in the following cases:

  • Children and Adolescents: To strengthen developing teeth and prevent cavities during critical stages of growth.
  • People with a High Risk of Cavities: Such as those with dry mouth conditions, poor oral hygiene habits, or a history of frequent cavities.
  • Patients with Certain Medical Conditions: Such as gum disease, acid reflux, or undergoing radiation therapy, which may increase susceptibility to tooth decay.
  • Older Adults: To combat age-related changes in oral health, such as receding gums and increased tooth sensitivity.

No, Fluoride is Not Bad for Your Teeth

To wrap up, remember that fluoride isn't harmful to teeth; in fact, it's quite the opposite. However, just like with anything, too much of it can lead to some cosmetic issues, such as dental fluorosis.  

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Experience exceptional dental care tailored to your needs at La Cantera Dental Group. Our dedicated team is committed to guiding you, whether you require fluoride treatment or any other dental service we offer. Schedule your appointment today.

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