facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Fluoride coating much thinner than thought

Dec. 17, 2010 at 8:40 PM   |   Comments

SAARBRUCKEN, Germany, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- German researchers say fluoride's protective cavity shield on teeth is a 100 times thinner than previously thought.

Frank Muller of Saarland University, Saarbrucken, Germany, and colleagues said fluoride makes teeth more resistant to decay by changing the hydroxapatite in tooth enamel into fluorapatite. However, the researchers find this fluorapatite layer is only 6 nanometers thick -- much thinner than anyone had expected.

The researchers pointed out 10,000 of these layers would be needed to span the width of a human hair. They have suggested a layer this thin may be quickly worn away by ordinary chewing and question whether a layer this thin can shield teeth from decay or whether fluoride has some other unrecognized effect on tooth enamel.

They say they will be searching for an answer to this question.

The study is published in the American Chemical Society's journal Langmuir.

Fluoride's reputation for cavity-fighting has led to its addition to toothpaste, mouthwash and municipal drinking water.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
CDC: Get your flu vaccine CDC: Get your flu vaccine
2
16 U.S. food makers surpass calorie-counting pledge 16 U.S. food makers surpass calorie-counting pledge
3
Research links sugar subtitutes to obesity Research links sugar subtitutes to obesity
4
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
5
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback