Water Borne Disease : Understanding Fluorosis

In India, over one lakh people die of water borne diseases annually. About 65 million people have been suffering from fluorosis, a crippling disease due to a high amount of fluoride.

Water Borne Disease - understanding fluorosis

While we never notice, water borne disease kill many, we drink polluted water almost on regular basis, where some packed water is not genuine, we find different kinds of impurities in the basic element constituting our daily essentials. Fluorosis is one of the major water borne disease which causes due to drinking impure water.

What is fluorosis?

Fluorosis is the high amount of intake of fluoride which deposits in the body, it generally affects the teeth or the skeleton. Fluorosis are of two types- Dental Fluorosis and skeletal Fluorosis. The normal acceptable level of fluoride in the body should range between 1.5-4mg per day. Lower absorption can cause fluoride deficiency and excess of it causes Fluorosis.

What are the causes of fluorosis?

Fluorosis is a condition which is caused by the high consumption of fluoride. The earth’s crust contains fluoride and the bore well water contains it automatically, people drinking the bore well water are generally at the high risk of getting affected by Fluorosis. It is generally caused by drinking water but, can be due to food in rare cases.

What are the symptoms of fluorosis?

Dental Fluorosis can occur in children below the age of 8 years when the permanent teeth starts developing. It can later affect the bones and cause Skeletal Fluorosis. The symptoms may range from tiny white lines on the teeth to dark brown patches on the enamel which can become difficult to clean. Discoloured teeth is one of the major symptom which affects children. If the fluoride deficiency occurs, it can even lead to tooth decay. In severe cases pitting of teeth occurs.

In case of Skeletal Fluorosis, the symptoms appear after dental fluorosis, structural changes take place in the bones and make the ligaments weak. Pain in small joints, stiffness in the back, deformity of hips, knees and other joints. Spine deformity and compression od the spinal cord results in pain and muscle weakness, tingling and numbness along the distribution of the nerves.

What are the treatments for fluorosis?

It becomes difficult to treat fluorosis especially when the changes become permanent. Nutritional supplements can be giving to the children affected by fluorosis. Vitamin C, D, antioxidants and calcium are advised to reduce the effects, while in the case of skeletal fluorosis, surgical treatments can be given.

In order to prevent the same, find out the fluoride content in your drinking water. Check your child’s dietary supplements which sometimes contain fluoride. Keep a track on your child, he not should swallow the toothpaste as sometimes the kids like the taste of tooth paste and swallow the same.

Try to detect the cause and beat fluorosis (water borne disease) at the initial stage, change your water consumption, keep it clean by eliminating contaminated water.

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