Example of Fluorosis – Symptoms, Treatments, and Causes

30-year-old male with white spots and soft spots from Fluorosis

A large percentage of America’s public water supplies are fluoridated. The reason most commonly given is because fluoride helps strengthen teeth. In fact, there is very little evidence suggesting that ingested fluoride has any benefit whatsoever. Instead, there are mounds of evidence proving the negative effects of fluoridated water.

The pictures below (taken in our office) show a 30-year-old male who has been stricken with fluorosis. In the pictures you can clearly see the unsightly white spots and the soft spots caused by fluoride. Ultimately, any attempts to fix the problems caused by fluoride result in very expensive cosmetic dentistry.

Of course, white spots and soft spots are not the only problems linked to fluoride. The most common symptoms of fluorosis are cosmetic:

  • Chalky white teeth patches
  • Yellow stained teeth
  • Brown stained teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Soft Spots (or weak teeth)

For cosmetic problems caused by excessive fluoride intake, the treatment options include teeth bleaching, sand blasting or microderm abrasion, and veneers.

In some cases, drinking fluoridated water can also lead to more serious problems, including Skeletal Fluorosis. According to the Fluoride Action Network “Crippling skeletal fluorosis might occur in people who have ingested 10-20 mg of fluoride per day for 10-20 years.”

So what are the symptoms of Skeletal Fluorosis?

Skeletal fluorosis, a complicated illness caused by the accumulation of too much fluoride in the bones, has a number of stages. The first two stages are preclinical-that is, the patient feels no symptoms but changes have taken place in the body. In the first preclinical stage, biochemical abnormalities occur in the blood and in bone composition; in the second, histological changes can be observed in the bone in biopsies. Some experts call these changes harmful because they are precursors of more serious conditions. Others say they are harmless.

In the early clinical stage of skeletal fluorosis, symptoms include pains in the bones and joints; sensations of burning, pricking, and tingling in the limbs; muscle weakness; chronic fatigue; and gastrointestinal disorders and reduced appetite. During this phase, changes in the pelvis and spinal column can be detected on x-rays. The bone has both a more prominent and more blurred structure.

In the second clinical stage, pains in the bones become constant and some of the ligaments begin to calcify. Osteoporosis may occur in the long bones, and early symptoms of osteosclerosis (a condition in which the bones become more dense and have abnormal crystalline structure) are present. Bony spurs may also appear on the limb bones, especially around the knee, the elbow, and on the surface of tibia and ulna.

In advanced skeletal fluorosis, called crippling skeletal fluorosis, the extremities become weak and moving the joints is difficult. The vertebrae partially fuse together, crippling the patient.

Fluoride Action Network

The fluoridation of public water supplies amounts to forced medication of our citizens. In theory, the practice is bad enough, but when coupled with the cosmetic and physical problems fluoride is known to cause, the practice is irresponsible and negligent.

30-year-old male with white spots and soft spots from Fluorosis

30-year-old male with white spots and soft spots caused by Fluorosis

Taken in our office in Encinitas, CA, this image shows a close-up of the cosmetic affects of Fluorosis

Taken in our office in Encinitas, CA, this image shows a close-up of the cosmetic affects of Fluorosis



  1. Deb Breckenridge Says: August 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Is there any way to reverse the effects of to much Fluoride in our systems? Or is cosmetic dentistry the only solution?

    • It appears that removing the source of fluoride intake is the most valuable treatment. There are methods of increasing the rate of its excretion from bone, however this can put a burden on the liver that results in other difficulties. Best treatment is avoidance of all sources of re-exposure.

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