What is Fluorosis and is it Reversible?

Fluorosis

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What are White Spots?

A white mark or spot is the layman’s term for the affliction otherwise known as dental fluorosis. There are two aspects to this issue that are pretty much universal – firstly, it is quite a common problem that both men and women suffer from.

Secondly, the vast majority of people do not know why this is issue actually occurs. So, let’s first look at why these white spots appear and what can we can do to get rid of them.

With regards to what exactly this issue is, white marks on our teeth are essentially exactly what they sound like – marks or spots of a white nature that appear on teeth. These marks can appear on any area of our teeth and they stand out against the overall color of our enamel. This is known as discoloration. They can also appear at any age, whether it be on a child’s tooth or an adult’s. [1]

A Common Problem

As I have alluded to, this problem is a widespread one that affects 1 in every 4 Americans according to recent studies. It was first diagnosed in the early 20th century in Colorado Springs where seemingly healthy individuals started to experience discolorations on their teeth.

After extensive testing was done on the populace, it was determined that there was a link between these discolorations and the abnormally high levels of fluoride that was present in the Colorado Spring’s water supply.

In the modern world, the extent of the appearance of white spots can vary from being hardly noticeable to dominating the physical appearance of a person’s set of teeth. Below highlights this range:

  • Minor: slight white discoloration that will only appear as flecks and might not even be visible
  • Mild: white marks that are noticeable but only take up less than 50% of the tooth’s surface
  • Moderate: marks that cover over 50% of any given tooth
  • Severe: irregularities in the enamel’s surface which can even come in the form of deep pits

The next key question is…


How is it Caused?

Dental fluorosis can occur for quite a few reasons other than when our teeth come in contact with excessive fluoride. I have listed underneath the main culprits when it comes to this oral problem:

Excessive fluoride: as was the case in Colorado Springs all those years ago, sometimes man-made water supplies can possess too much fluoride in their makeup. Ironically, this chemical agent is introduced into water supplies to actually combat tooth decay. Excessive fluoride can also be an issue in oral hygiene products such as toothpastes and mouth rinses. This can, in particular, be an issue for children whose teeth are growing and have not yet fully formed. [2]

Other possible factors:

  • Braces
  • Poor diets consisting of acidic/sugary food & drink
  • Consistent vigorous brushing
  • Accumulation of calcium [3]
  • Overall bad oral hygiene


The Damaging Effects

Now, it is important to note that this issue is very much an aesthetic one. There are no harmful or negative impacts associated with white spots in terms of a person’s health. Rather, the effects of this problem are more of a psychological nature. It is much like acne in this way.

However, as is the case with acne, impacts of a psychological nature can be just as serious and damaging as those of a physical one. Below, I have listed some of the aesthetic impacts that this problem can have which in turn can affect people in a psychological manner.

  • Ruins a great smile
  •  Effects Confidence
  • Self-Consciousness
  • Children's growth

If you are not happy with your teeth then you can become quite uncomfortable about smiling. I bet you know someone who refuses to show their teeth when being photographed. Or even someone who raises their hand to their mouth when they are laughing. This is usually because they are self-conscious about the state of their teeth. While there may be many reasons for this insecurity, white spots can indeed be a factor at play.

Therefore, as you can see, this oral issue can indeed have negative impacts on people of a psychological nature. So, what can we do? Can these stains be prevented and can existing ones be removed? I will answer these questions next.


Potential Solutions

One thing that can be guaranteed to come attached to a health and beauty issue is that there will be a plethora of treatments and supposed cures. These range from natural DIY options to products created in laboratories with the latest technology and scientific practices. As always, these endeavors will lead to good, bad, great, and completely rubbish options being created to choose from. The options available for fluorosis treatment are no different.

What is important to note is that it is indeed possible to both prevent and, if needed, remove white spots from your teeth. It is just a case of picking the best option in which to achieve this. Below, I have outlined some of the best practices when it comes to achieving this.


Prevention

Be Vigilant about Fluoride

This is easier said than done. After all, we cannot control the fluoride levels that are present in the local water supply of the place we live. However, what we can do is to keep an eye on fluoride content in certain oral hygiene products that we use on a daily basis. Items like toothpastes and mouthwashes are two prime examples. It is also wise to do some research into this area if you are a parent and you are worried about your children experiencing trouble with their teeth. [5]


Maintain a Healthy Diet

There is no question that possessing healthy dietary habits is hugely beneficial for our bodies. Our teeth and our overall oral hygiene are a prime example of this. Things like fizzy drinks; acidic drinks and foods; alcohol; and sugary foods are incredibly harmful to the enamel of our teeth. While all of these things are fine in moderation, excessive consumption can lead to many oral health issues including fluorosis.

Smoking: this baffling habit is something that can be very damaging to a person’s teeth. Smoke and nicotine are not good for a person’s health in general, but they are quite disastrous when it comes to our teeth. If you do not believe me, then just take close like at heavy smoker’s pearly whites! They’ll be lacking in both terms of being pearly and white!!


Removal

The Dental Clinic Option

 When it comes to treating this problem there are a few options that can be availed of that stem from the dental clinic route. They are as follows:

  • Bonding: involves the teeth that have been affected being covered by a hard resin-like substance. This resin bonds to the enamel of the tooth in question
  • Crowns: otherwise known as a dental cap, this method is only really applicable if the discoloration is located at the top/bottom of the tooth
  • Veneers: these are casings or shells that cover the front surface area of a tooth in order to hide any discoloration
  • Calcium Phosphate MI Paste: a substance that has been designed to realign the color of an affected tooth or teeth


  • pro
  • cons
  • our verdict
  • Quite expensive
  • Repeat visits could be necessary
  • Time-consuming as you might be placed on a waiting list


The Home DIY Option

(Health Base Recommendation)

As is the case nowadays, many people choose, and prefer, to fix minor aesthetic related health and beauty concerns from the comfort of their own home. This is not surprising as the technology and methods available in today’s world have made such a venture very achievable. Top DIY options are just as good as a professional service and are also usually quite that bit cheaper.

One of the leading DIY methods that center around teeth discoloration issues is that of teeth whitening systems. These home systems come in varying forms but essentially work to brighten the overall shade of your teeth to the desired level. These products are very easy to use and are usually quite fast acting.

  • pro
  • cons
  • our verdict
  • Professional Standard: these home kits are just as effective and efficient as dental clinics
  • More Affordable: while being just as effective, they are also far cheaper than the professional route
  • Complete Control: you can choose which shade you want for your teeth
  • Ease of Use: can be administrated from the comfort of your home with easy to follow steps
  • Time Friendly: no waiting lists or drives to the local clinic
  • Financial Security: the top brands provide warranties or money back guarantees with their products

For a full breakdown on our top-rated treatment option, please click on the following image:

Guide to Teeth Whitening

All the best,

Beth

References

1. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/white-spots-on-teeth

2. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/fluoride-directory

3. https://www.healthline.com/health/calcium-deposits-on-teeth

4. http://fluoridealert.org/studies/brain07/

5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/infant-formula/art-20045791

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Beth
 

Hey, people! Beth here with some info. about little old me! I'm a regular writer for The Health Base. My education and passion lies in the skin care & aesthetics field - areas that I'm constantly looking to become knowledgeable in! Get in touch if you wish to know more about me - you can do so here. Bye :)

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