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Chapter: Biochemistry: Minerals


Lesser amount of fluoride enter into the complex calcium salts that form tooth enamel.



Fluorine exists in the body in compounds called fluorides.

·           Lesser amount of fluoride enter into the complex calcium salts that form tooth enamel.

·           Fluorides may also be useful in maintaining bone structure. It is necessary for the prevention of dental caries.

·           Fluoride ions inhibit the metabolism of oral bacterial enzymes and diminish the local production of acids which are important in the production of dental caries.

·           It is in combination with vitamin D, required for the treatment of osteoporosis.


The chief source of fluorine is in the form of fluoride in drinking water.


Fluorine is found is small amounts in normal bones and teeth. Since water containing 1-2 ppm (Parts per million) prevents dental caries and does not do any harm, the fluorine requirements of the body are met by the quantity normally present in drinking water (1-2 ppm) in most of the regions.

Absorption and excretion

Absorption of fluoride is via the small intestine into the blood stream. Fluoride is excreted in the urine and in the sweat, and by intestinal mucosa. Most of the fluorides that are not retained by the bones and teeth is excreted rapidly into the urine.


The absence of fluorine in the diet causes dental caries.


Excess of fluorine (above 5 ppm) causes chalky white patches on the teeth. If this is not treated in time, the patches change to a brown colour which later develop into holes.


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Biochemistry: Minerals : Fluorine |

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