Sunday, February 7, 2016

Long-term study of fluorosis published

Australian researchers have published the results of a study in which children noted to have mild or very mild fluorosis in 2003 and 2004 were re-evaluated 7-9 years later. The study found that these conditions had a tendency to diminish with time and had no negative effect on the participants' perception of their oral health. [Do LG and others. Natural history and long-term impact of dental fluorosis: a prospective cohort study. Medical Journal of Australia 204:25.e1, 2016] Dental fluorosis is an alteration of dental enamel caused by ingestion of more than the optimal amount of fluoride during tooth development. 


Natural history and long-term impact of dental fluorosis: a prospective cohort study

In conclusion, our study provides strong evidence about the natural history of mild and very mild dental fluorosis during the period between adolescence and young adulthood. Dental fluorosis during childhood diminishes over time. Further, dental fluorosis at this low level had no impact on perceptions of oral health, in contrast to dental caries. It is, therefore, preferable to emphasise the beneficial effect of fluoride in preventing dental caries rather than the risk of dental fluorosis.

This study supports the prevailing view of the scientific community that fluorosis when mild or very mild is barely visible and poses no physical or cosmetic problem whatsoever. [Barrett S, Baratz RS. Fluorosis: Much ado about nothing. Dental Watch, Feb 1, 2016]