Abstract: Dental fluorosis is a serious health problem caused by ingestion of fluoride in excess through water, food and air. Fluoride is a controversial trace element, on the one hand for its widely applied beneficial uses, especially in improving dental health and on the other hand for its toxic effects. Fluoride causes dental fluorosis by damaging the enamel-forming cells, called ameloblasts. The damage to these cells results in a mineralization disorder of the teeth, whereby the porosity of the sub-surface enamel is increased. While the dental profession claims that dental fluorosis is solely a 'cosmetic' effect, and not a health effect, this statement is an assumption and not a fact. Certainly, dental fluorosis represents a toxic effect on tooth cells. The question is whether tooth cells are the only cells in the body that are impacted. As noted by former proponent of fluoridation, Dr. John Colquhoun, ?If a poison circulating in a child's body can damage the tooth-forming cells, then other harm also is likely." As noted by Dr. Hardy Limeback, former President of the Canadian Association of Dental Research, "it is illogical to assume that tooth enamel is the only tissue affected by low daily doses of fluoride ingestion."Not only is the prevalence of fluorosis increasing, but so to is its severity.
Keywords: Dental fluorosis, symptoms, associated health implications