September 28, 2016
While fluoride is very beneficial to the protection of the teeth to prevent cavities, overexposure to fluoride can lead to a cosmetic condition known as fluorosis. When the teeth are exposed to abnormally high levels of fluoride during the first eight years while the permanent teeth are developing, the teeth may come in slightly discolored. Often, there will be white lacy markings on the teeth, but the visual flaws can become a bit more apparent to include yellow to brown irregularities. In some cases, there may be surface irregularities, such as pits. As a dentist in Rockland County, Dr. Peter Auster is able to diagnose and treat the condition.
It is estimated one in four Americans between the ages of 6 to 49 have some degree of fluorosis; however, it is most prevalent in those between the ages of 12 to 15. Generally, less than one percent of those with the condition are considered to be severe. Nonetheless, the condition is difficult to treat no matter how severe the cosmetic flaws.
The vast majority of fluorosis cases are caused by the inappropriate use of fluoride products, such as mouth rinses and toothpastes. However, in some cases, the condition results from taking fluoride supplements or drinking too much fluoridated water, juices, or soft drinks.
Symptoms of Fluorosis
The symptoms of the condition can be quite diverse. Often, symptoms appear as small white specks or streaks on the teeth. In some cases, there may also be dark stains or rough pitted enamel that is more difficult that average to clean. Based on the symptoms, the severity of the condition is broken down into different categories. Those who have slight variations in the enamel color, such as small flecks and white spots are placed in the “Questionable” category. For those who have small white areas that occur over less than 25 percent of the tooth’s surface are known to have very mild fluorosis.
When the white spots are more extensive to include less than 50 percent of the tooth, the condition is considered mild, whereas, those with more than 50 percent of the enamel surface impacted are known as moderate. Those who have extensive discoloration or pitting are classified as severe.
For those who have very mild fluorosis, no treatment is often needed. However, when the condition is more severe, there are a few cosmetic services that can be used to mask the discoloration. Among the most common treatment involves professional teeth whitening to remove surface stains. In addition, dental bonding can be used to coat the surface of the teeth. For those who need a drastic fix, crowns and dental veneers can be used. In some cases, MI Paste, which is a calcium phosphate product, is used to minimize tooth discoloration.
Your Dentist for Fluorosis Treatment
Dr. Auster is a cosmetic dentist in Pomona, NY who helps treat the cosmetic flaws caused by fluorosis. After an evaluation, he will determine which treatment methods will meet your needs. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.
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