Fluorine exists in the body in compounds called
amount of fluoride enter into the complex calcium salts that form tooth enamel.
may also be useful in maintaining bone structure. It is necessary for the
prevention of dental caries.
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
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
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.