Posted on 1/25/2020 by Robert Henshaw, DMD
|Fluoride has been a vital element in oral health prevention for decades, both as an ingredient in oral health products and in the form of fluoride treatments. This naturally occurring mineral protects your tooth enamel and gums by fighting bacteria that can harm them, leading to dental and periodontal problems that can lead to costly restoration procedures, as well as gum disease, also known as periodontitis.
Fluoride and Oral Health
For those at a higher risk of developing cavities, or dental caries, fluoride provides added protection against harmful bacterial buildup, and the same holds true for those at a greater risk of gum disease. Acidic bacterial plaque erodes gum tissue and can lead to infection and disease. In addition, fluoride helps prevent bacterial growth from breaking down your enamel breaking down the enamel near your gumline, where decay can spread rapidly.
Fluoride Treatments and Gum Health
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommendation is a fluoride treatment from your dentist every 3 to 12 months, depending on your specific needs, and the Mayo Clinic recommends a daily intake of 1.5 to 4 mg. Your dentist may also recommend a prescription fluoride gel or rinse to use at home.
Prior to fluoride being added to toothpaste, research found that those with fluoridated water were 40 to 60 percent less likely to develop tooth decay that can lead to both dental and periodontal problems. Although fluoride cannot remove decay, it can help keep it from penetrating more deeply into your teeth, closer to your nerves.
Regular treatments from us, as well as topical application through brushing, can prevent bacterial growth than can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Contact our office for more information about ways to prevent periodontitis or what we can do to help if you believe you already have periodontitis.
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