We all want to have a dazzling smile however small pathologies can appear that alter the aesthetic aspect of our teeth. Fluorosis is a disease that causes the appearance of small yellow or white stains on the tooth enamel. There are treatments available that can help you regain a winning smile without posing any major health risks.
What is fluorosis?
Teeth make up part of the hard organs of our body. The tooth is composed of two parts: the root which is attached to the jawbone and covered by the gum and the crown that is the emerged part of the tooth.
Teeth are composed mainly of mineral matter, more specifically calcium hydroxyapatite crystals. The tooth enamel covers the entire outer part of the tooth and that is what gives it this pearly white colour. This enamel can change and lose its lustre when the tooth is damaged.
Fluorosis is a condition that affects the enamel of the tooth. It manifests itself as matt white or yellow stains on the tooth. There are several stages of fluorosis and in cases of mild fluorosis, small opaque white spots appear on the teeth. In cases of moderate fluorosis the entire tooth is covered by the whitish or brownish stain. Furthermore, in cases of severe fluorosis, the teeth are yellow or brown and have fine streaks along the tooth.
What are the causes of fluorosis?
Fluorosis, as the name implies, is the result of an excessive intake of fluoride during tooth development, or alternatively due to its mineralization.
Fluoride is a trace mineral that consolidates the tooth enamel to make it more impervious to attack by the bacteria that cause cavities.
Fluoride has been widely prescribed to children between the ages of 6 to 12 since the 1970s to strengthen their teeth. Fluoride can be applied locally with toothpaste or orally with fluoride salt concentrate tablets. Fluoride is found naturally in water, fish, spinach or even salt.
However, an excess of fluoride in the body during growth alters the natural enamel thus causing fluorosis and the appearance of white spots.
What are the possible treatments for fluorosis?
To limit the effects of fluorosis on teeth, it is recommended to consult a dentist in order to choose a suitable treatment.
In cases of mild fluorosis, the dentist injects resin into the tooth enamel in order to fill any cavities caused by fluorosis. This procedure is minimally invasive and achieves satisfactory results.
In cases where fluorosis is more serious, the treatment is much more invasive. Using a milling machine, the dentist polishes the tooth to remove whitish spots and fills the hollow part with an artificial composite of the same natural tooth colour. In the most serious cases, it is possible to install a ceramic or steel dental prosthesis.