Fluoride and your Oral Health
Did you know that recent studies show that water
fluoridation reduces dental caries in permanent teeth by approximately
18 to 40 percent. We all assume that the fluoride we get from the
toothpaste and tap water is adequate for our needs. This is not always
the case. It is best to consult your dentist if you are a candidate for
additional fluoride. To understand this topic better, let's find out
what fluoride is and what role it plays for our oral health.
Fluoride occurs in the earth's crust, in combination with other
minerals. A small amount of fluoride is present naturally in all water
sources. Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural
level of fluoride to a concentration sufficient to protect against tooth
decay. Just because of a community water fluoridation, fifty percent of
children ages 5 to 17 have never had a cavity in their permanent teeth.
According to the April 2000 Journal of Dental Research, the use of
fluoride since 1960 has been the primary factor in saving some $40
billion in oral health care costs in the United States. The annual cost
of community water fluoridation is approximately $0.50 per person. The
lifetime cost to provide fluoridated water to one person is less than
the cost of a single dental filling.
Now let's take a moment to find out how fluoride can benefit everyone
Fewer cavities: Fluoride not only protects your
teeth from getting new cavities but it also helps remineralize enamel
weakened by early cavity development. Fluorides also control root
surface decay on exposed roots from gum recession in adults.
Controlling and maintaining the gum disease: Fluorides inhibit the
bleeding and tender gums caused by plaque bacteria and prevent
reinfection after the active gum treatment.
Less Sensitivity: Fluorides coat and insulate
sensitive teeth effectively that occurs from gum recession and natural
wear on teeth.
Orthodontic, Crown and bridge, implants and dentures
maintenance: Fluorides help control gingivitis and decalcifications
associated most commonly with braces. It also prevents recurring decay
around the crowns and bridges, blocks plaque formation around implants
and help control bad breath and irritation from dentures.
Side effects from medicines: Many prescription
medications can decrease saliva flow and increase patient's risk of
dental infection. Fluorides help protect against decay.
Post surgical rinse: Fluorides control bacteria and
help tissue heal after surgery.
If you have any question regarding this or any other dental related
problems feel free to contact Dr. Hema Patel at 510-796-1656 or write at