How does Fluoride Help in Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity?

Why does teeth turn sensitive at all?

Sugary and acidic foods are the prime responsible factors for damaging the tooth’s enamel. The outer covering or layering of our tooth is called the enamel. It is said that enamel is even stronger than bones that are made of calcium! While citrus fruits and other acidic foods attack the tooth’s enamel directly, sugary items like candies, soda, sweetened chewing gums, jams, berries, etc break down into acids inside the mouth. This is because, certain bacteria inside your mouth feasts on the carbohydrate supplies that are obtained from these foods. This turns them into acids which in turn attacks the tooth enamel.

Once the outer protective layer, that is the enamel is under attack and is worn out partly, the tooth becomes highly susceptible to cavities and decay.

So, what is the exact role of fluoride in the entire episode of dental health?

Our saliva contains calcium and phosphate which continuously bathes our teeth and keeps it healthy and protected. When fluoride steps in through various sources like toothpaste and drinking water, it combines with these salivary minerals to form the compound ‘fluoroapetite’. it forms the best defense against the cavity causing bacteria within your mouth!

Reliable Sources of Fluoride for Your Teeth

Fluoride can be obtained from several sources such as:

      • Foods with a fluoride content
      • Drinking water supplies (often the local municipality supply) is often fluoride infused and therefore healthy for your teeth
      • A tooth containing fluoride, especially one that comes with the ADA (American Dental Association) seal on it.
      • Fluoride treatments received in-office.

Foods that Contain Fluoride:

      • Tea as well as coffee
      • Water and the foods that are prepared in that water
      • Foods like potatoes, grapes and shrimps etc.
      • fish eaten along with their bones
      • infant formula

Besides taking this list into your knowledge, you must realize that, we are unable to determine whether our body is getting the adequate amount of fluoride. The easiest remedy to this is getting an ADA approved in-office fluoride treatment, where the right levels of fluoride are determined by your dentist before being applied on your teeth.

How is Fluoride Treatment Administered In-Office?

A professional fluoride treatment may be administered by your dentist in several forms, such as: gels, varnishes, foam or a highly concentrated rinse. To apply the treatment in-office, your dentist uses a tray, mouthwash, swab or a brush. The fluoride concentration in these products are much higher than that available in the OTC (over-the-counter) toothpastes.They take only a few minutes to apply and for the next 30 minutes, you are simply asked to avoid eating or drinking. That is enough for the fluoride to get fully absorbed.

Depending on the status of the oral health however, the frequency of fluoride treatment is determined. It may be recommended every three, six or twelve months. Additionally, preventive measures may also be suggested by the expert, if you are at a high risk of developing caries!

Teeth Discolorization : Common Causes & Remedies

 

Tooth staining is usually a common problem. Everybody’s teeth stain gradually over time. If dental enamel became more porous it attracts stains from all the food and drinks you consume. And those who regularly smoke and drink red wine or coffee for them the stain become deeper.

Other than eating and smoking habit there are some other factors which can cause and aggravate tooth staining, including age, starting color, translucency and thinness, drugs and chemicals, grinding, and trauma.

Co-relation Between Ageing & Teeth Staining: 

A direct correlation exists between tooth color and age. Usually, the older the teeth the more the teeth are stained due to accumulation and general wear and tear. Teenagers will likely experience immediate, drastic results from whitening because their teeth have not accumulated a large build up of stains. In the twenties when the teeth begin to show a yellow cast, teeth-whitening may require slightly more effort. Teeth in their forties begin to change hues from yellow to brown, indicating more maintenance in teeth-whitening efforts. By the fifties, the teeth have absorbed a host of stubborn stains which can prove difficult, but not impossible, to remove.

The starting color of teeth varies from person to person and ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey and becomes more pronounced as we age. Yellow-brown is generally more responsive to bleaching efforts than green-gray.

The genetic traits of translucency and thinness become more apparent over time. While all teeth show some translucency, those that are opaque and thick have an advantage: they appear lighter in color, show more sparkle and are more responsive to bleaching. However, teeth that are thinner and more transparent (most apparent in the front teeth) may not be able to be bleached as the teeth lack the necessary pigment. According to cosmetic dentists, transparency is the only condition that cannot be corrected by any form of teeth whitening.

Some Causes of Teeth Discoloration:

  • Eating habits are a contributing factor in tooth staining. The habitual consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges, and other deeply-colored beverages and foods causes considerable staining over the years. Enamel erosion is caused, in part, by consuming citrus fruits, vinegar, and other acidic items. When combined, these two factors cause the surface of the tooth to become more transparent and more of the yellow colored dentin shows through.
  • Smoking habits can alter the color of teeth. Smoking has been proven to leave brownish deposits which slowly soak into the tooth structure and cause intrinsic discoloration.
  • Drugs and chemicals can have an adverse effect on tooth color. The antibiotic tetracycline when used during a child’s formative years, produces dark grey or brown ribbon stains which are extremely difficult to remove. Excessive consumption of fluoride causes a condition known as fluorosis which is associated with areas of mottling.
  • Grinding your teeth can affect tooth color. Most frequently caused by stress, teeth grinding can add to micro-cracking in the teeth and can cause the biting edges to darken.

Prevention & Treatment:

Coffee, tea, colas, smoke, acidic juices, certain medications, and highly pigmented foods play havoc on the pearly whites. Tooth staining can be prevented with proper oral hygiene. Treatment like Sealing or bonding may be used to protect teeth from wear and tear. But these procedures are permanent or semi-permanent.

There are certain natural ways for teeth whitening which can be followed at home. Not all tooth discolorations respond to whitening treatments, however.

There also remain many over-the-counter products can eliminate tooth discoloration. A person will usually see results after 1–2 weeks, though there is no guarantee.

Some of the over the counter product includes:

  • whitening mouthwashes and rinses containing hydrogen peroxide
  • whitening toothpastes containing sodium hypochlorite
  • whitening strips containing carbamide peroxide
  • tray whitening systems containing carbamide peroxide bleaching gel

There are several natural remedies and teeth whitening products available. However, the treatment provided by a dentist is much stronger compared to any natural home remedies. But to prevent your teeth from staining follow a consistent oral health routine which includes twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing, a twice-yearly visit to a dentist near you, restraining from smoking and limiting your consumption of teeth-staining beverages.