A fluoride deficiency is nothing to smile about. A vital nutrient for the normal growth and health of the human body, fluoride is also influential in the development and functioning of your teeth, preventing decay and preserving the enamel. Serving Anchorage and Wasilla, AK, the dentists at Four Corners Dental Group encourage their patients to learn about the signs and symptoms of fluoride deficiency to avoid unnecessary problems down the road.
Fluoride: Nature’s Dentist
Every day, a tooth’s enamel goes through two processes, demineralization and remineralization, whereby minerals are lost and added. Demineralization occurs when the acids formed by sugars and plaque in the mouth attack the enamel. Minerals such as phosphate, calcium, and fluoride are then re-deposited onto the enamel layer from water and foods consumed throughout the day.
Fluoride prevents tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from sugars and bacteria. It can also reverse early decay and encourage remineralization while disrupting acid production in teeth that have already been corrupted.
Deficiency Causes & Symptoms
Tooth decay is perhaps the most common sign of a fluoride deficiency. Plaque-rich bacteria produces acids using carbohydrates and sugars, which, in turn, damage tooth enamel. Brittle bones, typically caused by bone demineralization, are another symptom. This scenario can result in higher instances of bone fractures and even osteoporosis.
Fluoride deficiency can be addressed in a variety of ways, either at home or by visiting a qualified dentist:
- Topical: Most modern-day mouthwashes and toothpaste include fluoride.
- Bloodstream: Fluoride gains access to the bloodstream naturally through foods, water, and supplements.
- Prescription Supplements: Prescription fluoride supplements can be obtained through your family dentistry practice or general physician.
- Professional Treatments: Your family dentist can provide professional fluoride treatments if needed.
Whether you get your daily dose through drinking water, toothpaste, supplements, or professional applications at a dentist office, you can rest easy knowing fluoride is working diligently to keep your teeth protected. For additional tips, guidance, and affordable dental care services, visit the Four Corners Dental Group website or call (907) 376-2790 (Wasilla, AK) or (907) 258-3384 (Anchorage, AK).