Join ADAMember Log In




Fluorosis

What is dental enamel fluorosis? Does it harm teeth?

Enamel fluorosis is not a disease but rather affects the way that teeth look. In the vast majority of cases, enamel fluorosis appears as barely noticeable faint white lines or streaks on tooth enamel and does not affect the function or health of the teeth. In fact, in many cases, the effect is so subtle that, usually only a dental expert would notice it during an examination. Enamel fluorosis occurs only when baby and permanent teeth are forming under the gums. Once teeth break through the gums, they cannot develop enamel fluorosis.

Examples of mild dental fluorosis

Four typical cases of mild fluorosis, seen in children participating in the Iowa Fluoride Study.

Return to top

Additional Resources

Please note: The ADA does not provide specific answers to individual questions about fees, dental problems, conditions, diagnoses, treatments or proposed treatments, or requests for research. Information about dental referrals, complaints and a variety of dental procedures may be found on ADA.org.

What is dental enamel fluorosis? Does it harm teeth?

Enamel fluorosis is not a disease but rather affects the way that teeth look. In the vast majority of cases, enamel fluorosis appears as barely noticeable faint white lines or streaks on tooth enamel and does not affect the function or health of the teeth. In fact, in many cases, the effect is so subtle that, usually only a dental expert would notice it during an examination. Enamel fluorosis occurs only when baby and permanent teeth are forming under the gums. Once teeth break through the gums, they cannot develop enamel fluorosis.

Examples of mild dental fluorosis : Four typical cases of mild fluorosis, seen in children participating in the Iowa Fluoride Study.