• Fluorine is present in the body as fluroide. It is present in teeth, bones, thyroid gland, skin and liver. Fluoride is necessary for the formation of caries-resistant teeth. Small amounts of fluroine prevents dental caries in children. It promotes calcification.
Fluoride and Tooth Structure
  • For healthy tooth formation some amount of fluorine is essential. Though the exact mechanisms by which it prevents dental caries is not fully understood, it is assumed that fluorine is incorporated into the tooth enamel.
  • This reduces the solubility of enamel in the acids produced by bacteria.
  • In its absence the enamel is soluble in the acid and tooth decays.
  • In experimental animals fluoride seems to help normal growth during the growing period, but in human beings its role is not yet proved.
Toxicity or Fluorosis
  • If water contains more fluorine (1.2 to 3 ppm), dental fluorosis occurs. The enamel of the teeth loses its natural lustre and becomes rough .
  • Opaque white patches with yellow or brown stains are found irregularly on the teeth.
  • Ridges or diffused spots and pitting occur over the teeth.
  • The surface of the teeth gives a corroded appearance.
  • Loosening of teeth along with untimely loss of teeth is common.
Mild fluorosis Mild fluorosis Moderate fluorosis Moderate fluorosis

 Severe Fluorosis Severe fluorosis
Skeletal Fluorosis
  • Skeletal fluorosis occurs when the water fluoride is more than 3 ppm. The bones of vertebral column, especially the cervical part of the spine, pelvis and bones of the lower extremities are affected in this condition. Hypercalcification of the bones and the collagen take place due to excessive fluorine deposition.
  • Stiffness and pain are the earlier symptoms. Weakness and spasticity of lower limbs, wasting of the distal muscles of hands, deep jerks on lower extremities and numbness or girdle pain are the other symptoms of skeletal fluorosis.
  • Gradually the person becomes crippled as he cannot bend or squat as the joints become stiff.
water from affected areas, tea, tobacco, rock salt, tooth paste and other dentrifices
Water containing 1 to 2 ppm prevents caries and so it is considered as the requirement.

Last modified: Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 5:35 AM