Fluoride Action Network


BACKGROUND:  High-concentration topical fluorides are used commonly to with compromised salivary function due to irradiation and chemotherapy.

CASE DESCRIPTION:  The authors describe a 50-year-old man with previously treated cancer who was using tray-applied topical fluoride gel. He complained of gastric symptoms, difficulty in swallowing, leg muscle soreness and knee joint soreness. A computed tomographic scan revealed thickening of the esophageal walls. An upper endoscopy revealed abnormal motility. The motility test indicated high-amplitude peristalsis and hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter, and urine testing indicated high levels of systemic fluoride. The patient’s fluoride regimen was altered, and within a short period his urinary fluoride levels returned to normal and his symptoms resolved.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:  Clinicians prescribing home-applied high-concentration fluorides need to be cognizant of the symptoms of fluoride toxicity, carefully monitor the patient’s compliance with the treatment regimen, and adjust the dosage or mode of application to control the total ingested dose of fluoride.