Everyone dreams about having clean white teeth. However, a lot of people struggle with dental problems such yellow and stained teeth. There are times when diet directly contributes to the discoloration of your teeth. For instance, smoking and consuming too much dark colored drinks is thought to cause tooth discoloration. However, another leading cause of teeth yellowing and one which many people ignore is a condition known as fluorosis.

What causes fluorosis?

Permanent teeth are formed in the jawbone during early childhood. By the time a child is losing the baby teeth, the permanent teeth start appearing in the mouth. The crowns of the permanent teeth appear in the mouth from the time you are about eight years old. The crown is the part of the tooth that is visible when one smiles. Fluorosis occurs to people who consume too much Fluoride. The excess absorption of this mineral in the body leads to a yellowish discoloration of the teeth. Note that this is a condition that happens long before the teeth erupt into the mouth. Therefore, if a person had white teeth at a young age, but the color has deteriorated over time, Fluorosis is not to blame for the problem.

Is fluorosis a medical condition?

The good thing about fluorosis is that it is merely a cosmetic condition and not a medical condition. Sometimes the condition is so mild that only a qualified dentist can detect it. The main characteristics of a person suffering from fluorosis include:

• A white or brown discoloration on the tooth enamel
• Brown spots on the tooth
• Pitted teeth that have brown or gray spots

Most of the cases of fluorosis occur when children take too many fluoride supplements or when they swallow fluoridated toothpaste. There are certain places where the water contains a high concentration of fluoride as a mineral and drinking it while taking the supplements could lead to an excess of the metal.

Diagnosis and treatment of Fluorosis

A competent dentist will ask about the intake of fluoride so that they can make a diagnosis. Even though fluorosis does not lead to complications such as cavities, the stains can affect a person’s self-esteem. Teeth whitening can treat the mild stains caused by fluorosis. The process can take one or more visits to the dentist. If the case is severe, procedures such as bonding, crowns, and veneers can be used. The best way to eliminate the stains and have a happy and healthy smile is getting a skilled dentist to diagnose and treat your fluorosis.

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