At Edward D. Dallam, DDS, we offer special fluoride treatments to patients who may be at increased risk of tooth decay. You may benefit from a fluoride treatment if you have any of the following conditions:
- Dry Mouth – If you suffer from dry mouth, you may be more prone to tooth decay. The lack of saliva makes it harder for food particles to be washed away and acids to be neutralized.
- Gum disease – Gum disease, also called periodontitis, can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontitis.
- History of frequent cavities – If you have one cavity every year or every other year, you may benefit from a fluoride treatment.
- Presence of crowns, bridges or braces – These treatments can put teeth at risk for decay at the point where the crown meets the underlying tooth structure or around the brackets of orthodontic appliances.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that appears naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids formed from plaque, bacteria and sugars in the mouth attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and water we consume. Too much demineralization and not enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization, as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth in both children and adults.
It is our goal at Dr. Dallam’s office to try to prevent tooth decay before it happens. Call our office to schedule an appointment if you feel you are a prime candidate for a fluoride treatment.