Fluoride and fluorosis

Fluoride is an important compound in health care, necessary for protection from tooth decay.
It is a compound of the gaseous element fluorine.
It is found in sea water as sodium fluoride and most of the sea food we consume contains this compound.
In human body most of the compound occurs in bones and teeth as calcium fluoride.
Experimentally in low doses, this compound is found to improve the bone density in osteoporosis.

Similarly in low doses it is used in drinking water to prevent tooth decay with good results.
Vegetables and fruits and drinking water are sources of fluoride supply.
Symptoms of its deficiency are increased tooth cavities and weak teeth and bones.
Excess of fluoride can cause conditions called skeletal and dental fluorosis.

In skeletal form initially stiffness of joints, joint pain and symptoms of arthritis are noticed.
In severe cases joint movement gets limited, ligaments of neck vertebrae get calcified, spine and major joints get deformed and muscle gets wasted.
Dental fluorosis occurs in children receiving excess of fluoride during their tooth development.
This dental condition occurs as white streaks or specks on the teeth in its milder form.
Pitting and cracking of teeth with brown and black stains occur in severe form of fluorosis.
This can happen when deep bore water with high content of this compound is consumed.
High fluoride coal dust and brick tea can also cause fluorosis.

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