Ever wondered why parts of Hyderabad have so many dentists? The answer is fluorosis. With the high fluoride content in the ground water, the incidence of flurosis has been growing for the past decade.

According to a National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) study, it may affect as many as one out of 10 persons in the city. And the incidence is likely to go up as the city’s dependence on ground water increases in the coming months.

Explains Dr Arjun Khandare of NIN who is currently conducting a study on flurosis in Nalgonda district, “Certain kinds of rocks contain fluorides and water drawn from these areas, has a dangerously high level of fluoride compounds. There are many such deposits in and around Hyderabad.”?

Says Dr Anil Kumar Gudibati of AP Super Specialty Dental Hospital, “Constant use of such water can cause flurosis, which first appears as a chalky deposit on the teeth and then degenerates to brown mottled spots. With continued use, the fluorides are deposited in the bones and can cause the fatal skeletal flurosis.”?

Dr Khandre points that the incidences of flurosis have gone up as the dependence on groundwater has gone up. “When people get only a few buckets of Manjira water, they tend to use groundwater for cooking and store the Manjira water for drinking. So, the amount of fluorides they consume goes up and intensifies the level of flurosis.”?

Dr Khandare further points out that the level of fluoride in the underground water table is higher than permissible limits.While according to the WHO, the permissible levels are 0.5 to 0.75 particles per million (ppm), the current level is around 3 ppm, which is way too high.