Fluoride is the name given to a group of compounds that are composed of fluorine and one other elements. Fluorides are present naturally in water and soil at different levels.
In the 1940s, scientists became aware that people living near drinking water supplies had naturally occurring fluoride levels of approximately 1 part fluoride per million parts water or greater had fewer dental cavities. Many studies over the past 70 years have supported this finding (1).
It was later found that fluoride can prevent and even reverse tooth decay by hindering bacteria that produce acid in the mouth. It also boost remineralization, the process through which tooth enamel is “rebuilt” after it begins to decay (1, 2).
In addition to building up in teeth, ingested fluoride accumulates in bones. Moderate amounts prevent dental caries (cavities), but long-term ingestion of large amounts can lead to potentially severe skeletal problems. The control of drinking-water quality is therefore critical in preventing fluorosis and only providing help for dental cavities.
What is water fluoridation?
Water fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to the water supply so the level reaches approximately 0.7 ppm, or 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water; this is the optimal level for preventing tooth decay (1).
Fluoridating the water began in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They adjusted the fluoride content of its water supply to 1.0 ppm and thus became the first city to implement community water fluoridation. By 2008, more than 72 percent of the U.S. population served by public water systems had access to fluoridated water (3).More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. Simply by drinking water, Americans can benefit from fluoride’s cavity protection whether they are at home, work or school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
Where can people find additional information on fluoridated water?
The CDC has information on standards for and surveillance of current fluoridated water supplies in the United States.The Environmental Protection Agency can provide more information about drinking water and health, including details about drinking water quality and safety standards.
Your wisdom teeth don’t make themselves known until you have nearly reached adulthood. Usually between the ages of 17-25. The name “Wisdom Teeth” was adopted as these teeth don’t arrive until you have reached, what is considered the “age of wisdom”.
Are Wisdom Teeth a Problem?
Wisdom teeth are not always an issue. Not everyone needs to have them removed. If your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly aligned, there is no reason for fuss at all. As a matter of fact, about 30 percent of people are missing one or more of their wisdom teeth.
Issues With Wisdom Teeth
Unfortunately, for many of us, the need to have one or more wisdom teeth removed during a lifetime is likely. It is estimated that 85 percent of all people will need to visit the oral surgeon sometime in their life in relation to a wisdom tooth/teeth. Often, wisdom teeth do not grow in properly. If a wisdom tooth does not make it to a normal position, it can cause problems with chewing, damage adjacent teeth or periodontal problems. Your dentist can make an assessment and recommend an oral surgeon if necessary.
What is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
An impacted wisdom tooth is a tooth that becomes stuck under the gum or partially emerges from the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth unfortunately are a common occurrence. Depending on the person, they may or may not cause pain. When your wisdom tooth is trying to emerge, it can cause your gum to become inflamed and swollen. When emerging, they can also cause pain in your face, other teeth or ears.
Signs of an Emerging Wisdom Tooth
Swelling of the gum in the back of your mouth
Difficulty opening your jaw
A bad taste in the mouth
Pain when you open your mouth
Pain when chewing or biting
The best way to know if your wisdom teeth are a problem is by visiting your dentist. Regular check ups can avoid big problems later.