There are multiple etiologies of increased bone density, including osteopetrosis and fluorosis. Osteopetrosis can either be a malignant autosomal recessive condition found in children or a benign autosomal dominant adult variant; both of which are characterized by decreased bone resorption. In contrast, fluorosis is characterized by increased bone formation secondary to chronic fluoride intoxication, but with a similar clinical manifestations to osteopetrosis.
A 70-year-old lady with generalized joint aches, stiffness as well as fatigue, was found to have high bone mineral density and alarmingly high fluoride levels. The patient was found to be drinking fluoride containing water from an untreated local well for many years.
Fluorosis results in increased bone mineral density and disease progression correlates with length of exposure. Fluorosis can result in reversible musculocutaneous symptoms and radiological findings. However, severe chronic cases may develop irreversible neurologic manifestations. Urinary fluoride testing is the screening modality of choice, and the key component of management is avoidance of the source of fluoride intoxication as well as monitoring of urinary fluoride levels.
*Full text article online at https://www.cureus.com/articles/63394-a-case-of-fluorosis-fluoride-induced-osteopetrosis#abstract