Fluoride mystery one step closer to being solved, after more than 50 years, researchers say

By on May 9, 2013 in Europe, Health Comments

The so-called fluoride mystery is reportedly one step closer to being solved, after more than 50 years. A team of researchers, including Karin Jacobs, a physicist at Saarland University in Germany, conducted a study on how fluoride fights tooth decay, and recently released its findings.

flouride toothpaste

Fluoride toothpaste
Credit: visitworldofsmiles.com

As noted at MyHealthNewsDaily.com this Tuesday, May 7, 2013, the study suggested bacteria loses its ability to stick to the teeth, when people use toothpaste with fluoride. Researchers noted that fluoride makes the germs easier to wash away with saliva, when brushing the teeth, and other activities.

Fluoride, which is derived from Fluorine, is widely used as major components of toothpaste, and is now often added to mouthwash and drinking water. The fluoride mystery has been studied for more than half a century, but there were a lot of controversies on how it can exactly reduce tooth decay.

“The bacteria we’re studying are likely to be charged negatively. They feel attached to positively charged surfaces. The fluoride probably makes tooth enamel more negatively charged, repelling germs.” Karin Jacobs told MyHealthNewsDaily.com, adding that the experiment was performed to artificial teeth.

Fluoride toothpaste is known for helping to harden the enamel coating that protects teeth from the acid produced by decay-causing bacteria. Earlier studies revealed that it can also help re-mineralize the teeth where the acid has already started to weaken the teeth.

The study, published at online journal Langumir last April 4, the experiment used a compound known as hydroxyapatite on the artificial teeth. However, this material notably more absorbent than real enamel, so it is being considered not a good representation of a real tooth.

Apparently, analyzing real teeth can be complicated, because teeth are significantly different from each other. Even a single tooth can be different throughout its composition. This variability helps explain the decades why it is difficult to solve the decades of fluoride mystery.

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