Why Some Adults Need Fluoride Treatments from Dentists in College Station, TX

Published by Cashion Dental on September 11, 2013

[Posted on September 11th, 2013 by Cashion Dental]

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Most families who visit dentists in College Station associate fluoride treatments with preventive dental care for children.  Fluoride treatments are standard care to protect the formation of a child’s permanent teeth.  However, dentists also recommend them for some adults.

What is Fluoride?

It’s the 13th most plentiful element found on the crust of the earth, according to Medical News Today.  It occurs naturally in water, foods, soil and several minerals.  Labs synthesize fluoride to add to drinking water, mouthwashes, toothpaste and other products.

Fluoride is an important part of preventing tooth decay.  In the 1930s, scientists discovered that individuals reared in areas where the water was naturally fluoridated had only a fraction of the cavities experienced by people in regions without fluoridated water.

Experts believe fluoride protects teeth from demineralization caused by eating and drinking acidic foods and beverages.  It can also help remineralize and strengthen the enamel of damaged teeth.

WebMD says it’s particularly important for children between 6 months and 16 years old to be exposed to fluoride, since this is when primary and permanent teeth appear.  Adults can benefit from fluoride in topical form in toothpaste and mouth rinses.  Those with certain health conditions should consider visiting dentists in College Station for advice on whether they need fluoride treatments.

Adults Who Need Fluoride

A number of medical situations can signal the need for adult fluoride treatments, according to the Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center:

  • Dry mouth.  Certain conditions result in a dry mouth.  Examples are Sjögren’s syndrome and diabetes.  Medications for allergies, anxiety and high blood pressure also cause dry mouth.  Lack of sufficient saliva makes it difficult for liquids or toothbrushes to dislodge food particles and neutralize acids.
  • Receding gums.  An exam by a dentist in College Station, TX will reveal the appearance of periodontal disease or receding gums.  More than 50 percent of adults older than 75 have experienced root decay.  To protect roots, dentists can paint a fluoride gel or varnish on them.
  • Frequent fillings.  Patients who’ve had a filling in the last year or who’ve had frequent fillings should ask a dental care provider whether they need a fluoride treatment in addition to home care.
  • Crowns or bridges.  Both are places where bacteria collect.  When any portion of a tooth remains, that tooth is at risk for decay.
  • Braces.  Adults who wear braces often have a difficult time reaching all areas of the mouth.  As food collects, plaque forms and leads to cavities.  Dentists in College Station will recommend a fluoride gel or rinse for home use and will advise whether a fluoride treatment in the office is necessary.
  • Radiation therapy.  Current or prior radiation therapy to the head and the neck results in unusually high risk for decay due to damaged salivary glands.  In addition to strict home care, it’s important to see one of the dentists in College Station every two to three months.