When the positive impact of fluoride on the healthy formation of tooth enamel was first observed, it was thought that the fluoride was only beneficial during the early stage of tooth formation in children. However, more recent studies have shown that fluoride is beneficial in strengthening the enamel in grown up teeth as well. Fluoride treatments are particularly beneficial for adults who have a moderate to high risk of suffering from tooth cavities.
Why Adults May Have an Increased Risk of Forming Tooth Cavities
Adults are likely to have crowns and bridges where the joins act as weak spots which are more prone to tooth decay. Fluoride will help to strengthen these weak spots. In addition, adults increasingly have orthodontic treatments (braces) which make good oral hygiene more difficult to attain. Not all adults are capable of looking after themselves properly and, sadly, this includes the welfare of their teeth.
For instance, some adults are prone to drug or alcohol abuse, whilst others have a physical or mental infirmity. Bad diet, especially the consumption of too much sugary food and beverages is a major cause of tooth decay. Another problem of growing older is that, with age, gums recede away from the teeth, exposing the top of the root which is not protected by the hard enamel. Fortunately, fluoride helps protect the exposed root surface from decay. Many prescription medicines, which adults are more likely to take, reduce saliva flow causing a dry mouth.
Saliva helps to neutralize acid in the mouth, therefore, reduced saliva leads to increased acidity and tooth decay. Similarly, radiation treatment for cancer can damage saliva glands, reducing the saliva flow and lowering the natural defenses against tooth decay.
There is a whole host of reasons why adults can benefit from fluoride treatments and you should consult us to see whether you can benefit too, and, if so, which is the best treatment to suit you. We are here to help!
Call us today (503) 765-7300 Fax Us (503) 697-5999
Nicholas Dose, DMD 601 1st Street Suite A Lake Oswego, OR 97034-2370