Posts Tagged ‘fluorine’

The Science of Fluoride

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Fluoride refers to a derivative or reduced form of the element fluorine. Fluorine exists in the earth’s crust, rocks, clay and coal. Plants, air, fresh water and ocean water containfluorine. In the United States, bodies of water have fluorine ranges from 0.1 to 12 parts per (ppm). Public health officials have added fluoride to municipal water supplies since the 1940s.

Many researchers promote the benefits of fluoride, especially in children’s formative years, for the development of strong bones and teeth. On the other end of the scale, excessive fluorine intake may cause dental fluorosis, which is pitted teeth and decay. “If it is absorbed too frequently, it can cause tooth decay, osteoporosis, and damage to kidneys, bones, nerves, and muscles (1, 2, 9).”

Many studies point to the effectiveness of fluoride for maintaining healthy bone strength and teeth. Often, water fluoridation receives credit as the single most important factor, accounting for the 40 to 70 percent reduction in tooth decay among Americans (1, 2).

The History of Fluorine

Fluorine in mining. Fluorite or fluorspar contains fluoride in its natural form. Generally, fluoride compounds derive from fluorspar. Structurally, fluorine has the most stable structure of all the chemical compounds. German miners used fluorspar as a flux or solvent in ore smelting mining. The compound enables miners to use less heat to melt the ore.

(more…)

No Comments Yet »

Tooth Enamel Erosion and Prevention

Friday, January 13th, 2012

The strongest and hardest tissue in the human body is tooth enamel. Two percent of enamel is comprised of organic material—protein, lipids and citrate. The other 98 percent consist of water and the minerals calcium hydroxylapatite and calcium fluorapatite (1). Enamel completely envelops other components of the tooth structure, including the dentin, cementum and dental pulp. Enamel protects teeth against the daily wear of biting and chewing. It enables the teeth to withstand hot and cold temperatures, acid and other chemicals which have an erosive effect on teeth. (1, 2, 3).

Tooth enamel ranges in thickness from 2.5 to 3.0 millimeters. It appears white, but actually has a semi-translucent color. The enamel receives it white appearance from the dentin underneath. Coffee, tea, wine, and cigarette smoking discolors are some of the main reasons for discolored tooth enamel (3).

Causes of Tooth Enamel Erosion

Enamel has a high mineral content, which makes it vulnerable to “demineralization” from ingested foods, which contain starch and sugar.

Sugar

Candy, soft drink, fruit juices, and other sweets leave a large amount of sugar coatings on the oral cavity. Sugar may constitute the single largest contributor to enamel erosion. Bacteria flourish on sugar and generate lactic acid, which eats into the enamel.

(more…)

1 Comment »