Fluoride Action Network


The severity of dental mottling in 2,592 school-aged, lifetime residents of 16 Texas communities was investigated in 1980-81 to identify factors associated with mottling and to construct a prediction model for the prevalence of mottling. The communities were selected to obtain a wide range of levels of fluoride in the drinking water. The children within each of the communities were contacted through their schools and received a dental examination to assess the severity of mottling. Information on demographic, dental health practice, and other candidate predictor variables was obtained from a questionnaire completed by a parent. A number of water quality measurements were also recorded for each community. White and Spanish-surname children had about the same prevalence of mottling while Blacks had a higher prevalence, odds ratio (OR) = 2.3, 95% confidence interval = 1.4, 3.7. Children from homes which had air conditioning had a lower prevalence of mottling (OR = .6, (0.4, 0.8)). The use of fluoride toothpaste or drops and the number of fluoride treatments were almost identical among those who did and did not develop moderate mottling. In addition to fluoride, total dissolved solids and zinc were water quality variables associated with mottling.