Objectives: Enamel fluorosis is a hypomineralization caused by chronic exposure to high levels of fluoride during tooth development. Previous research on the relationship between enamel fluoride content and fluorosis severity has been equivocal. The current study aimed at comparing visually and histologically assessed fluorosis severity with enamel fluoride content.
Methods: Extracted teeth (n = 112) were visually examined using the Thylstrup and Fejerskov Index for fluorosis. Eruption status of each tooth was noted. Teeth were cut into 100 ?m slices to assess histological changes with polarized light microscopy. Teeth were categorized as sound, mild, moderate, or severe fluorosis, visually and histologically. They were cut into squares (2 × 2 mm) for the determination of fluoride content (microbiopsy) at depths of 30, 60 and 90 ?m from the external surface.
Results: Erupted teeth with severe fluorosis had significantly greater mean fluoride content at 30, 60 and 90 ?m than sound teeth. Unerupted teeth with mild, moderate and severe fluorosis had significantly greater mean fluoride content than sound teeth at 30 ?m; unerupted teeth with mild and severe fluorosis had significantly greater mean fluoride content than sound teeth at 60 ?m, while only unerupted teeth severe fluorosis had significantly greater mean fluoride content than sound teeth at 90 ?m.
Conclusions: Both erupted and unerupted severely fluorosed teeth presented higher mean enamel fluoride content than sound teeth.
Clinical significance: Data on fluoride content in enamel will further our understanding of its biological characteristics which play a role in the management of hard tissue diseases and conditions.