Fluoride Action Network


Background: The use of fluoride involves a balance between protection against caries and risk of dental fluorosis. Prevalence and trend of dental fluorosis in the adult population are not frequently reported.

Objective: To describe the prevalence of dental fluorosis in the Australian adult population.

Method: Data from the National Study of Adult Oral Health (NSAOH) 2004-06 and 2017-18 were used. Prevalence of fluorosis was reported using data from the NSAOH 2017-18. Case definitions of fluorosis were as follows: having a TF score of 2+ (TF2+) or a TF score of 3+ (TF3+) on one or more maxillary central incisors. Synthetic cohorts were constructed by year of birth allowing for time trend analysis.

Results: One in ten Australian adults were found to have dental fluorosis at TF2+. The prevalence of TF3 + was low. Time trend analysis revealed an increase in the prevalence and severity of fluorosis among those born during 1970s to 1980s decade. Such prevalence declined among those who were born after measures were introduced in early 1990s to reduce exposure to discretionary fluorides.

Conclusion: The prevalence of dental fluorosis in the Australian adult population was found to be related to population-level changes in fluoride exposure.

*Original abstract online at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/adj.12764