Fluoride is a type of chemical that is naturally found in soil, foods, and water, and is sometimes synthesized in order to be added to several chemical products, and also drinking water. Once you hear about fluoride, you automatically associate it with tooth protection and products for dental hygiene, such as mouthwash and toothpaste. Even though information about fluoride is readily available, you may find yourself asking: Is dental fluoride safe or poisonous? How can it prevent dental caries? Continue reading, and you will find out the answers to these questions.
Once it is used properly, dental fluoride is not only considered to be safe, but it is also a very effective tool used to prevent tooth decay. Nevertheless, being exposed to very high levels of dental fluoride for an extended period is definitely poisonous. If you have been exposed to a lot of dental fluoride for too long, you will most likely develop dental fluorosis, which is a discoloration of the enamel of the teeth. Additionally, a lifetime of being exposed to high levels of dental fluoride, will eventually lead to joint pain and stiffness (skeletal fluorosis) and bone weakening.
In very extreme cases where an individual takes in too much dental fluoride, toxicity and even death may occur. It is possible for you to overdose on fluoride, more so a child who eats a tube full of toothpaste. Symptoms that will indicate if you or a child has overdosed on fluoride are: convulsions, tiredness, faintness, shallow breathing, watery eyes, salivation, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting blood, and nausea.
One of the best benefits of dental fluoride is that it helps to protect your teeth from dental caries. There are two ways in which this is done. When sugars and bacteria combine in your mouth, the combination produces acid which damages your teeth by eroding the enamel. Dental fluoride protects the teeth by breaking down the acid that is produced. If acid has already damaged your teeth, fluoride will help to strengthen your teeth enamel. Keep in mind that although fluoride is very helpful in preventing dental caries, but if you already have a cavity, dental fluoride will no longer help that particular tooth.