INTRODUCTION: Fluorine is a common element in nature; however, the difference between a beneficial dose and a toxic dose for the organisms is small. The main source of fluoride for humans is water in addition to food.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to estimate the degree of severity of pathological changes, namely, caries or fluorosis, in the mineralized tooth tissue of 15-year-old adolescents with respect to their hygienic and nutritional habits, and the content of fluorine in drinking water, soil and plant products.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 100 adolescents aged 15 from schools in Sosni?ka, L’viv region, were examined. The condition of mineralized tooth tissue was evaluated by the caries severity, expressed by the mean number D3MFT, caries frequency and value of the SIC index. Fluorine in plant material and soil were determined according to the PN-G-04543:1982 standard, and water according to the PN-EN ISO 10304 – 1: 2009+ AC: 2012 standard.
RESULTS: Severity of caries disease expressed by the D3MFT number in the examined group of 15-year-olds was 3.39; in the group of girls – 3.08, and in the group of boys – 3.76. In the examined group, the average number of teeth with fluorosis was 7.59. Value of the SIC index among the examined population of students (n-31) was 6.26: 5.89 (n-18) for girls and 7.31 (n-13) for boys. Fluorine concentration in the water was 0.78 – 1.25(mg·dm-3). In the soil, it also did not vary across the sampled areas and amounted, on average, to 176 mg·dm-3. The biggest fluorine content noted in the dry mass of beetroots was 3.50 (mg F· kg), and the lowest – 3.34 (mg F· kg).
CONCLUSIONS: Close to optimal fluorine content lowers caries severity and frequency of fluorosis. Optimal fluorine content in drinking water and food does not require additional diet supplementation.
In the examined group, the average number of teeth with fluorosis was 7.59; 9.93 for girls and 5.08 for boys. Comparing the tests results, it was concluded that there were more teeth with fluorosis in the population of girls (median: 7; interquartile range: 4–16) than in the population of boys (median: 4; interquartile range: 2–6), which was statistically significant (p=0.038) (Tab. 6).