Background on flouride-containing solutions

December 8, 2014

Fluoride is found in many toothpastes designed to prevent tooth decay. As a matter of fact, the fluorination of water and toothpastes is felt to be the major factoring contributing the increasing number of adults retaining their own teeth into maturity.

Q. Can the fluoride in toothpaste cause acne around the mouth or perioral dermatitis?

A. Fluoride is found in many toothpastes designed to prevent tooth decay. As a matter of fact, the fluorination of water and toothpastes is felt to be the major factoring contributing the increasing number of adults retaining their own teeth into maturity.

Dental caries result from breakdown of tooth enamel. The main ingredients in enamel strengthening are sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, and sodium mono-fluoro-phosphate. Teeth are made up of calcium hydroxyapatite with ions, such as hydroxyl and carbonate fluorides that are in equilibrium between the tooth and the saliva. Brushing with a fluoride ion containing solution can increase the amount of fluoride ions present in the tooth apatite lattice. As the fluoride is deposited in the tooth, it creates a stronger crystalline lattice and makes the tooth more acid resistant. Most enamel strengthening toothpastes contain between 0.1-0.15 percent fluoride ions with a few prescription products containing up to 0.5 percent.

With this brief background in fluoride containing toothpastes, I am not aware of any scientifically proven connection between toothpaste fluoride and acne or perioral dermatitis. That said, the toothpaste should be kept in the mouth and not spread on the face and rinsed thoroughly from the mouth following brushing.

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