Avoid Fluoride in Your Toothpaste for Periodontal Disease

Avoid Fluoride in Your Toothpaste for Periodontal Disease

One of the more controversial aspects of modern dental care is the use of fluoridated toothpastes. Many dentists recommend using such dental care products in the prevention of dental caries and tooth decay in children. Recent evidence shows that the use of fluoridated toothpaste may hasten the occurrence of gum disease. Many dentists no longer recommend fluoridated toothpastes to prevent periodontal disease. Most recommend using fluoride-free toothpaste to reverse gum disease.

Manufacturers of fluoridated dental products tell us that their products are the best when it comes to dental health. But if you are to read the “warning” on the label of these products, it says that it should be out of the reach of children below the age of 6 years. The warning also advises parents and individuals to contact the Poison Control Center at once. This is for cases where the child swallows large quantities of these products.

The natural reaction to such warnings is one of apprehension. If there is an ingredient that puts a child at risk, then why would anyone want to use such a product?

There are a growing number of studies showing the relationship between fluoridated products and gum disease.

Gum disease occurs when bacteria present in the oral cavity start invading the gum tissues. This leads to inflammation and destruction of the tissues. Since the gum supports the teeth, an infection in these tissues can also lead to a loss of teeth support.

The tissue injury leads to the separation of the gum from the teeth. This produces pockets or spaces which can harbor other germs. As bacteria fill these pockets, the destruction of the underlying tissues continues. This leads to the rapid deterioration of the tissues of both the teeth and gums.

How does fluoride fit into this, you ask?

There are different theories as to how fluoride can promote periodontal disease.

First, it can cause progressive degeneration of the tissues of the root of the teeth. It also causes the degeneration of the membrane separating the tooth from the jawbone. In both instances, the teeth undergo a reduction in its structural integrity. With the degeneration of the tooth root, it will be a lot easier for microorganisms to enter the space between tooth and gum. Moreover, the loss of periosteum membrane facilitates the easier entry of germs.

Second, fluoride can activate G proteins found in the oral cavity. The two most important G proteins implicated in the activation are thromboxane A2 and prostaglandin E2. What fluoride does is that it stimulates the production of these pro-inflammatory substances. This can exacerbate the inflammation seen in both gingivitis and periodontitis.

Third, fluoride has both cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory properties. To be more specific, sodium fluoride can induce the apoptosis of the fibroblasts of the gum tissues. Not only does it have a negative effect on gum tissue fibroblasts, fluoride can also induce programmed cell death in osteoblasts. These are bone cells.

The implications of using fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes are immense. Fluoride can exacerbate existing gum disease. This can make the inflammation worse while also causing more damage to both gum and tooth tissues. It can also hasten the development of gum disease among individuals who don’t have the disease yet.

This is not to say that fluoride is bad for your health. You should know that it is one of the minerals that comprise the structure of tooth enamel. Bacteria present in the oral cavity produce acids that interact with these minerals, losing them in the process. Fluoride in the saliva gets absorbed back into the enamel to reestablish the balance. This is how fluoride can help prevent dental caries.

However, since most water systems already come with fluoride, there is no longer a need to use fluoridated toothpaste. There are also food items that contain fluoride like black tea, seedless raisins, shrimp, and blue crab. If you are getting enough fluoride from your diet, then you don’t have to use fluoridated dental products anymore.

There is mounting evidence linking chronic fluoride exposure to the occurrence of periodontal disease. As such, it is best to avoid fluoride in your toothpaste if you want to prevent periodontal disease. There are better alternatives that do not contain this mineral.