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Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth's enamel layer when acids -- formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth -- attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.
a)Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.
b)It also reverses early decay.
c)In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth.
d) Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.
In What Forms Is Fluoride Available?
As mentioned, fluoride is found in foods and in water. It can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor's prescription.
We dentists, apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. Varnishes are painted on the teeth; foams are put into a mouth guard, which is applied to the teeth for one to four minutes; gels can be painted on or applied via a mouth guard.(as shown in figure)
When Is Fluoride Intake Most Critical?
It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. This is the timeframe during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. However, adults benefit from fluoride, too. New research indicates that topical fluoride -- from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments -- are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth.
In addition, people with certain conditions may be at increased risk of tooth decay and would therefore benefit from additional fluoride treatment. They include people with:
- Dry mouth conditions : Also called xerostomia, dry mouth caused by diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome, certain medications (such as allergy medications, antihistamines, anti-anxiety drugs, and high blood pressure drugs), and head and neck radiation treatment makes someone more prone to tooth decay. The lack of saliva makes it harder for food particles to be washed away and acids to be neutralized.
- Gum disease : Gum disease, also called periodontitis, can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontitis.
- History of frequent cavities: If you have one cavity every year or every other year, you might benefit from additional fluoride.
- Presence of crowns and/or bridges or braces: These treatments can put teeth at risk for decay at the point where the crown meets the underlying tooth structure or around the brackets of orthodontic appliances.
Are There Risks Associated With Fluoride Use?
Fluoride is safe and effective when used as directed but can be hazardous at high doses (the "toxic" dosage level varies based on an individual's weight). For this reason, it's important for parents to carefully supervise their children's use of fluoride-containing products and to keep fluoride products out of reach of children, especially children under the age of 6.
In addition, excess fluoride can cause defects in the tooth's enamel that range from barely noticeable white specks or streaks to cosmetically objectionable brown discoloration. These defects are known as fluorosis and occur when the teeth are forming -- usually in children younger than 6 years. Fluorosis, when it occurs, is usually associated with naturally occurring fluoride, such as that found in well water. If you use well water and are uncertain about the mineral (especially fluoride) content, a water sample should be tested. Although tooth staining from fluorosis cannot be removed with normal hygiene, your dentist may be able to lighten or remove these stains with professional-strength abrasives or bleaches.
Keep in mind, however, that it's very difficult to reach hazardous levels given the low levels of fluoride in home-based fluoride-containing products. Nonetheless, if you do have concerns or questions about the amount of fluoride you or your child may be receiving, talk to your child's dentist, pediatrician, or family doctor.
A few useful reminders about fluoride include:
- Store fluoride supplements away from young children(these are not available in India).
- Avoid flavored toothpastes because these tend to encourage toothpaste to be swallowed.
- Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste on a child's toothbrush.
- Be cautious about using fluoridated toothpaste in children younger than age 6. Children younger than 6 years of age are more likely to swallow toothpaste instead of spitting it out.
I have mouth ulcers since 6 days. I do not know why. I take b complex and its because of TB. I do not have any cough problem. I have fever 37.5 .when I checked in evening .i ate 3 eggs a day still I am slim .No change in my body nature 47 kg.
It often happens that one or more tender areas inside your mouth make eating, drinking or talking painful. They might deprive you of a spicy meal or of the pleasure of drinking a cup of hot chocolate. Little sores (know more about the mouth sores) that come in the way of your otherwise content life are mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers are white or yellow open sores with an itchy red ring around them. They can appear on your lips, at the base of gums, on the soft palate, at the sides of your tongue and in the hollows of your cheeks.
They are formed on non keratinized mouth tissues and can create a constant burning sensation. Ayurveda focuses to improve a person's health through a diet regime, the use of herbal compounds and through the implementation of health practices which are mostly unheard of. This traditional branch of medicine can prove to be very effective if tried out under the supervision of a reliable practitioner. It is because of its usefulness, governments of several countries across the world endorse researches in the field of Ayurvedic medicine.
Take care of mouth ulcers in the following ways:
- Use a decoction of leaves: It is good to gargle with the liquor of a few kinds of leaves; certain leaves can relieve you of the burning sensation. Leaves of the guava tree or mehendi and aamla leaves can be boiled in combination with alum to extract a thick decoction. Washing your mouth repeatedly with this decoction will help you to treat ulcers.
- Remedy constipation: Constipation (know more, how to get relief from constipation) has been steadily associated with mouth ulcers. To remedy this problem one can take Triphala Choorna.
- Avoid anything piquant: Compromise on taste and turn away from hot and spicy food. Not having anything hot and peppery results in immediate relief. Tea, coffee, curd, pickles and even tobacco or alcohol should not be consumed during this period.
- Try Licorice: Chewing a piece of licorice can help you in getting rid of oral ulcers. Licorice is known to counter any kind of mouth decay. It also benefits the health of your teeth. When this is boiled in water, you can sip on to the resultant sweet drink and almost forget pain.
- Try Chebulic myrobalan: Chebulic myrobalan needs to be consumed in its powdered form. You can add honey to soften the powder. Use of this compound will surprise you with is effects.
- You may apply Irimedadi taila: Direct application of this oil on the ulcers can be of great use.