Fluoride Layer on Teeth Very Thin, Easily Worn Away

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Does Fluoride Really Fight Cavities by ‘the Skin of the Teeth?’

ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2010) — In a study that the authors describe as lending credence to the idiom, “by the skin of your teeth,” scientists are reporting that the protective shield fluoride forms on teeth is up to 100 times thinner than previously believed. It raises questions about how this renowned cavity-fighter really works and could lead to better ways of protecting teeth from decay, the scientists suggest.

Their study appears in ACS’ journal Langmuir.

Frank Müller and colleagues point out that tooth decay is a major public health problem worldwide. In the United States alone, consumers spend more than $50 billion each year on the treatment of cavities. The fluoride in some toothpaste, mouthwash and municipal drinking water is one of the most effective ways to prevent decay. Scientists long have known that fluoride makes enamel — the hard white substance covering the surface of teeth — more resistant to decay. Some thought that fluoride simply changed the main mineral in enamel, hydroxyapatite, into a more-decay resistant material called fluorapatite.

The new research found that the fluorapatite layer formed in this way is only 6 nanometers thick. It would take almost 10,000 such layers to span the width of a human hair. That’s at least 10 times thinner than previous studies indicated. The scientists question whether a layer so thin, which is quickly worn away by ordinary chewing, really can shield teeth from decay, or whether fluoride has some other unrecognized effect on tooth enamel. They are launching a new study in search of an answer.

Thanks to Science Daily.


Note that Science Daily buys into the theory that fluoride helps teeth but questions how fluoride works.

5 thoughts on “Fluoride Layer on Teeth Very Thin, Easily Worn Away

  1. Pingback: Fluoridated Toothpaste | FLUORIDE, LEAD, ARSENIC, AND MORE IN OUR WATER

  2. Pingback: Preventing Tooth Decay – Without Fluoride | FLUORIDE, LEAD, ARSENIC, AND MORE IN OUR WATER

  3. jim

    Point is the benefit claims were only theory not real science. This German data actually measured the layer of claimed protection. It was so thin as to provide no protection as it would wear away from simple chewing. Do not expect many dentists to care their science never existed. Never was about science but belief system the ADA wants promoted by the CDC oral health department of fluoridation promotion. 30 dentists paid to promote fluoridation and spread the false talking points.

  4. Gregory Mouser

    Crazy thing to me is.. . If fluoride was so good for your teeth Why are there so many people having to get major medical dental insurance to redo their teeth? and that had root canals done as I am experiencing with broken or crumbling teeth that needed either crowns or bridges to fill in the gaps .. .I am not JD Rockefeller and simply do not have that
    kind of cash I have congential hypothyroidism since 1952 and some of the dentist that
    have seen me or have performed extractions or refilled the old amagrams since 1960 thru present day. . . Getting ready for my last few jaw teeth extracted and only have 4 upper teeth and 8 bottom teeth left. . .

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