If you have stopped long enough to look at pictures of your family members from a long time ago, you will notice that they don't have a whole lot of teeth left when they reached a certain age. We're also willing to bet your grandparents and great-grandparents wore dentures, because they didn't have teeth either.
We are much luckier than your grandparents or great-grandparents were, because in many Western countries, a mineral called fluoride is added into the water supply. In the United States, fluoride was added into the water in the years after World War II. Researchers found that by adding fluoride into the water supply, tooth decay was cut by a third. Over time, fluoride in the water supply has meant fewer cavities in adults and children.
However, not everyone has fluoride in their water supply. Are you getting enough fluoride in your diet? Is the water that you are drinking fluoride free? How can you tell? Here are some signs that you may not be getting enough fluoride.
Signs of Too Little Fluoride
The first sign of too little fluoride is an increase in tooth decay. Rather than having tooth decay in a single tooth, you may experience tooth decay in an area of your mouth- involving several teeth at a time. You might also notice your gums are red, inflamed, or swollen. Tooth decay and gum disease go hand in hand, because both are caused by bacteria. You may also notice that you have more plaque on your teeth than you had previously. Too little fluoride increases the bacterial content of your mouth, which increases the plaque as well.
The good news is, there are ways you can get additional fluoride in your mouth. Be sure that the toothpaste you are using has fluoride in it. There are also supplements you can take to get more fluoride into your diet. If you're not sure how to get more fluoride into your diet, give us a call. We'd be happy to talk to you about the health of your mouth and help you make it the best it can be.