The short answer is yes, you can have too much fluoride. There are many ways you can get fluoride in your system.
By understanding how fluoride is important you can maintain implementing it in your oral care routine. There are some signs when you have too much. Our office would like to provide some education for you to understand when you are getting too much.
What Exactly is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found in the crust of our planet. It's also found in the air and our atmosphere. The highest levels of fluoride are found in volcanic rocks, tea plants, and seawater. Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute found that your average adult body contains roughly 2.6 grams of fluoride. Almost all of it is located in the bones and in your teeth.
You can add fluoride to your body by drinking tea and water. Some foods are found to contain fluoride as well. Chicken, fish, and rice contain it, but usually very low amounts. Fluoride is nature's natural cavity fighter. This is why it's recommended in your toothpaste and mouthwash.
Signs You Are Getting too Much Fluoride
The fluoride mineral is safe and effective against fighting cavities. When you ingest too much fluoride, usually by swallowing too much toothpaste or mouthwash. It can develop into what is called dental fluorosis. This is most often found with children that make a habit of swallowing their toothpaste. Dental fluorosis is more a cosmetic problem than a life-threatening issue. It causes pits, spots or sometimes streaks to occur on the surface of the teeth.
Even though it doesn't have a negative outcome for your body's health. The spots and streaks are permanent. In rare conditions, a person can develop skeletal fluorosis and this condition is damaging to a person's bone structure. It makes the bones brittle and leads to pain. You would need to consume large amounts of toothpaste or somewhere in the neighborhood of one to two gallons of tea for some time for this to happen.
Using moderation with your consumption of fluoride liquids and foods will keep you safe. Combine that with flossing and then using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. This should provide the optimal level of fluoride needed to protect your teeth for years to come.