Dental caries is major dental disease affecting a large proportion of the inhabitants of world. But over the past few decades, tooth decay has been reduced dramatically. Fluoride Research has showed that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults. Daily intake of fluoride on an average is 1.7 to 3 3 mg. out of total the dry food the intake is 0.2 -1.8 mg. and average daily intake from water is 1.5 mg. as the optimal level of fluoride in water is1 ppm.
We have heard so much about the fluoride that it reduces the cavity formation but how it acts? What is the mechanism of action?
Fluoride acts in many ways. Following are the functions of fluoride. It helps in
1. Cavity Control
2. Early Gum Disease Control
3. Advanced Gum Disease
4. Crown And Bridge Maintenance
5. Implant Maintenance
6. Crown And Root Surface Caries Prevention
7. Sensitivity Control
8. Post Surgical Rinse
Exact mechanism is not understood. The mechanism by which fluoride increases caries resistance may arise from both systemic & topical applications of fluorides. systemic affect of fluoride is by ingestion of fluoride tablets or drops and topical affect is when the teeth directly comes in contact with the fluoride like using fluoridated tooth paste, gels or applying fluoride varnishes. Before discussing the mechanism of fluorde action first of all we should know mechanism of tooth decay. The bacteria in the mouth ferments the food particles and produces the acid. This acid cause the dissolution of tooth surface and hence the decay. If we want to reduce the incidence of carieseither we have to reduce the formation of acid or make the tooth surface resistant. Fluoridecombines with the tooth surface and makes the enamel stronger so that it becomes more resistant to acid attack and it’s dissolution in the acid decreases. Along with this it helps in remineralization of incipient lesions. Ncipient lesions are early carios lesios which if detected early can be remineralized other wise they become the carious lesion. If ingested systemically during the formation oftoth it is sad that fluoride alters the tooth morpology and teeth no longer remain caries prone.
The incorporation of fluoride into the tooth enamel allows the tooth to be more resistant to demineralization by acid and ensuing tooth decay.
The following are common sources of fluoride:
1. Fluoridated drinking water
2. Fluoridated Salt
3. Toothpaste, gels, mouthwashes, pills, other dental applications
4. Processed cereals and other foods
5. Mechanically de-boned chicken
6. Beer and wine
7. Fish and Seafood
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