Does fluoride really fight cavities?December 16th, 2010 - 4:12 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Dec 16 (ANI): Scientists have found that the protective shield fluoride forms on teeth is up to 100 times thinner than previously believed.
It raises questions about how this renowned cavity-fighter really works and could lead to better ways of protecting teeth from decay, the scientists suggest.
Frank Muller and colleagues point out that tooth decay is a major public health problem worldwide.
The fluoride in some toothpaste, mouthwash and municipal drinking water is one of the most effective ways to prevent decay.
Scientists long have known that fluoride makes enamel - the hard white substance covering the surface of teeth - more resistant to decay.
Some thought that fluoride simply changed the main mineral in enamel, hydroxyapatite, into a more-decay resistant material called fluorapatite.
The new research found that the fluorapatite layer formed in this way is only 6 nanometers thick. It would take almost 10,000 such layers to span the width of a human hair. That’s at least 10 times thinner than previous studies indicated.
The scientists question whether a layer so thin, which is quickly worn away by ordinary chewing, really can shield teeth from decay, or whether fluoride has some other unrecognized effect on tooth enamel. They are launching a new study in search of an answer.
Muller’s study appears in ACS’ journal Langmuir. (ANI)
- Fluoride layer too thin to protect teeth - Mar 03, 2011
- Rubbing toothpaste on gums protects against cavities - Mar 28, 2012
- 'Seaweed bacteria more effective than toothpaste' - Jul 05, 2012
- Substantial consumption of fluoride ups chance of mild fluorosis - Oct 26, 2010
- Most people brush their teeth the wrong way - May 16, 2012
- Fluoride acts on plaque-causing bugs: Study - Dec 23, 2011
- Drink tap water to avoid dentist's drill - Apr 14, 2010
- Fluoride in water good for dental health - Aug 25, 2010
- Good dental hygiene may not stop tooth enamel from decaying - Jan 17, 2010
- Energy drinks severely damage tooth enamel: Study - May 02, 2012
- Laser ultrasound helps determine dental health - Aug 19, 2009
- How Thanksgiving is a battle for your pearly whites! - Nov 24, 2010
- Fluoridated toothpaste best for usage by children - Jan 21, 2010
- Mom's emotions affect child's dental health: Study - Aug 23, 2012
- 'Ignorance takes toll on oral health' (September 12 is World Oral Health Day) - Sep 12, 2012
Tags: acs, acs journal, cavity, colleagues, drinking water, fight cavities, frank muller, hydroxyapatite, mouthwash, nanometers, public health problem, resistant material, scientists, teeth, tooth decay, tooth enamel, toothpaste, width of a human hair