Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that is characterized by discoloring of the tooth enamel. This is caused by overexposure to fluoride during the developmental years. Fluoride is an important component to prevent tooth decay but intake of fluoride during tooth development (mainly during the first eight years) may result in discoloration of the tooth enamel. This discoloration may vary from mild white markings to yellow or brown stains or highly noticeable pits or surface irregularities. Children may consume toothpaste especially those that are flavored instead of spitting it which is a primary cause for fluorosis. Other causes include consumption of fluoridated water or beverages and foods processed in them or food supplements rich in fluoride. Fluorosis affects the teeth enamel under the gum. Fluorosis is not a disease and if present at the back of the teeth or is very mild then treatment is not necessary. If the fluorosis is very bad then cosmetic treatments like bonding or crown may be suggested by your dentist. Fluorosis may be prevented by monitoring your child while brushing to avoid fluoride intake, analyzing the fluoride content in the drinking water etc.
Authored By Dr. Shylaja S Prasad - Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics, Bangalore