Understanding Fluorosis And Whether Or Not Dental Treatments Are Necessary

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If you are serious about your child's oral care, then you may have learned early on that fluoride is important to keep the teeth healthy. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel in areas where it has become weak. This assists with the rebuilding of the teeth so that decay cannot develop. Since decay is one of the most common and serious oral ailments that are likely to affect children, making sure that your son's or daughter's teeth get enough fluoride is important. However, your child can also take in too much of the mineral. Fluorosis develops when this happens. Keep reading to learn about a few questions you may have about fluorosis treatments.

Are Treatments Necessary?

If your child develops fluorosis, or the overexposure of the teeth to fluoride, then your child may develop white spots on the teeth. These spots are caused by hypomineralization. Basically, the fluoride causes the teeth to absorb or take in more minerals than are needed. This happens in certain areas of the teeth where large amounts of fluoride have been absorbed. In most cases, the hypomineralization only occurs as the enamel is first developing. This is why children are more likely to develop fluorosis than adults. 

The white spots that appear on the teeth are white stains. They do not indicate that the teeth have been damaged in any way. In some cases, the spots may only appear on the back teeth. This means that the condition is not noticeable and it is likely to be left alone without any treatment. This is especially true in cases that are considered mild or moderate. Basically, treatment is not necessary, so it is not provided.

Can Treatment Be Provided?

Mild and moderate cases of fluorosis are most common. However, some severe or serious cases can develop as well. Serious cases of the condition can cause pits to form in the teeth. These pits develop because hypomineralized areas of the enamel can become brittle. Some of the enamel can break away from the teeth. If enamel degrades, then advanced treatment with the assistance of crowns, veneers, and bonding agents may be necessary.

If pits are shallow or if white stains are present and widespread, then a dentist can offer something called microdermabrasion. This treatment involves the chemical or mechanical removal of the dental enamel. Only a small amount of enamel is removed so the stains are no longer present. This treatment may be used in conjunction with traditional dental whitening to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the teeth. Contact a company like Stone & Johnson Dental Group to learn more.