Gums tend to recede as we get a little older, exposing the tooth root which is the dentine layer. This may lead to tooth sensitivity and decay.
Fluorides can help with your oral hygiene program. Impressive studies had shown that adults with regular fluoride treatment have less decay on the root surfaces and tooth crowns than non-fluoride users. The same success is observed when it comes to gum problems with fluoride. There is less plaque, less tartar, and less bacteria to progress to gum disease.
What are the benefits of fluoride?
- Remineralise/ strengthen weakened tooth enamel
- Slow down breakdown of tooth enamel due to mineral loss
- Reverse early signs of tooth decay
- Reduce ability of bacteria in plaque to produce acid
When bacteria residing in plaque break down sugar and carbohydrates, they produce acids that break down the outer surface of your tooth and damage it. This loss of minerals is called demineralisation, leaving your teeth vulnerable to attack by bacteria that cause cavities. Fluoride helps to remineralise your tooth enamel, preventing the development of cavities and reversing early signs of tooth decay.
Fluoride is very valuable for patients with braces, especially those that have difficulty keeping their tooth surfaces plaque-free. Often, we observe tooth discoloration and white patches on the tooth surfaces of orthodontic patients after they have had their braces removed. For mild cases, this is reversible but for more serious cases, these discolorations can be permanent. Regular self application of fluoride can help to prevent this problem.
Fluoride can be found in many over-the-counter products, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and certain supplements. Your dentist may suggest using a prescription product containing fluoride. These usually have higher fluoride concentrations than OTC options.