Any type of success in life comes with diligence and consistency. This very same rule applies to dental care as well. If you want to keep your teeth in a healthy condition, you are going to need to stay on top of your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding sugary foods and drinks. Still, you cannot rule out the possibility of your teeth to be in a not-so-healthy state due to fluoride deficiency.
What is fluoride?
According to the American Dental Association, fluoride is present in the form of fluoride ion in the earth’s crust. It exists along with the other minerals in rocks and soil. This element plays a pivotal role in preventing tooth decay.
Our teeth undergo the processes of demineralization and re-mineralization numerous times a day. Demineralization refers to the loss of minerals from the tooth enamel, while the process of enamel regaining those minerals is known as re-mineralization.
Fluoride is a crucial mineral that strengthens our tooth enamel. It gets fluoride through saliva in our mouth. There is a heightened risk of tooth decay if the pace of re-mineralization is consistently slower than that of demineralization.
What are the signs of fluoride deficiency?
Tooth decay is a more noticeable sign of fluoride deficiency. This decay happens due to bacterial buildup on teeth. This buildup uses sugars and carbohydrates to produce acids, which trigger a massive demineralization of tooth enamel. This phenomenon results in the teeth to wear away.
Some communities report a high rate of tooth decay in children. That’s why many communities fluoridate drinking water supply. The use of fluoridated water for drinking can reduce tooth decay by 25% in adults and children, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control.
Effect on overall health
Tooth decay is one of the most significant concerns related to oral care. Plaque development can lead to the rotting and decaying of teeth. It also initiates and worsens gum disease, which can leave an impact on overall health. Gum disease allows bacteria and germs to enter the bloodstream, resulting in heart disease, clogged arteries, and strokes.
The good thing is that you can use fluoride to keep your mouth healthy in many different ways. The first and foremost requirement is to brush and floss your teeth regularly to avoid the formation of plaque on the surface of your teeth and around the gum line. Aside from having fluoride toothpaste, you will want to invest in a toothbrush with raised tips. Such toothbrushes can clean the area around the gum line.
You will also want to visit your dentist regularly. Regular dental visits allow you to know about the state of your oral and dental health. The dentist will perform a physical checkup to see if there are any signs of gum disease or tooth decay, and also if you need fluoride treatment. Some problems may exist under the gum line, and they are generally not noticeable. Your dentist will run some necessary checks to make sure that your teeth and gums are safe from any visible and invisible complication.