A review of the prevalence of dental fluorosis in Mexico

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Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health, ISSN: 1020-4989, Vol: 15, Issue: 1, Page: 9-18

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Armando Ernesto Soto-Rojas; José Luis Ureña-Cirett; Esperanza De Los Angeles Martínez-Mier
FapUNIFESP (SciELO); Organización Panamericana de la Salud
review description
Objective. There has been a worrisome increase in the prevalence of dental fluorosis worldwide. The objective of this study was to review research on dental fluorosis prevalence in Mexico in order to assess if that prevalence is rising and if dental fluorosis constitutes a public health problem for the country. Methods. Clinical, experimental, and review reports were searched for in a number of bibliographic databases for scientific literature, using the search phrase "fluorosis and Mexico." All the materials that were initially identified had to satisfy eight specific criteria in order to be included in our study. Results. Of the 24 publications that the literature search yielded, 14 satisfied all the inclusion criteria. The prevalence of dental fluorosis reported in Mexico ranged from 30% to 100% in areas where water is naturally fluoridated and from 52% to 82% in areas where fluoridated salt is used. Most of the 14 studies were conducted in areas where water fluoride levels were above optimal, and the fluorosis cases reported in these publications ranged from "mild" to "severe." There have been only a small number of reports on dental fluorosis since the introduction of fluoridated salt in the country in 1991. However, some of those studies have shown that the prevalence of fluorosis was higher than what would be expected given the historical data from communities with optimal fluoridation in other countries. Conclusion. Due to the limited amount of information, it is not possible to determine if the prevalence of dental fluorosis in Mexico is rising or if it constitutes a public health problem. To objectively answer these questions more controlled studies are needed in areas where fluoridated salt is distributed, where water fluoride is above optimal, and where residents live at a high altitude.