Fluoride Action Network


AIM: Our aim was to test the hypothesis that co-exposure to lead and fluoride alter the severity of enamel fluorosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Wistar rats were allocated in four groups: control, and 3 groups that received water containing 100 ppm of fluoride (F), 30 ppm of lead (Pb), or 100 ppm of F and 30 ppm of Pb (F+Pb) from the beginning of gestation. Enamel analysis and F and Pb determinations in enamel, dentine, and bone were performed in 81-day-old animals. Fluorosis was quantified using a new fluorosis index based on the identification of incisor enamel defects (white bands and white islets, representing hypomineralization, and cavities) weighted according to their severity and quantity. Hypomineralization was validated histopathologically by polarizing microscopy and microradiography. Scores were given by two blinded calibrated examiners (intra and interexaminer kappa values were 0.8 and 0.86, respectively).

RESULTS: The control and the Pb groups presented normal enamel. The F+Pb group presented more severe enamel defects compared with the F group (P<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that lead exacerbates dental fluorosis in rodents, suggesting that co-exposure to lead may affect the degree of fluorosis.