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Acta Odontol Scand. 2005 Oct;63(5):258-65.

Dental fluorosis and dental caries in permanent teeth: rural schoolchildren in high-fluoride areas in the Shaanxi province, China.

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  • 1Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral Science, University of Bergen, Norway.



To study the dental fluorosis and caries in the permanent teeth of 12 to 13-year-old children in fluorosis-endemic areas; to assess the relationship between fluorosis and the fluoride content of the drinking water and the relationship between caries and the fluoride content of the water; finally, to analyze the effect of fluoride intake and water stored in clay pots on dental fluorosis.


477 children were divided into 5 groups (A to E) according to the fluoride concentration of the waters, i.e. by 0.4, 1.0, 1.8, 3.5, and 5.6 mg F/l, respectively. Dental fluorosis was assessed by TF score and caries by the DMF-T index. A questionnaire was used to obtain information about water storage and other information relevant to children's fluoride intake.


A positive relationship was found between the mean TF scores and the water fluoride concentration. In groups B and D, the TF score was higher in 13-year-olds than in 12-year-olds. Caries prevalence and mean DMF-T ranged from 2.6% and 0.03 (group E) to 22.1% and 0.38 (group A). Storage of water in clay pots seemed to increase the severity of fluorosis slightly, and to decrease the caries prevalence.


Defluoridation of drinking water, or--alternatively--the provision of low-fluoride water sources, should be given high priority in the examined Shaanxi rural areas. Fluoride concentration of drinking water should be maximum 0.6 mg/l. Storage of water in the local clay pots may increase the severity of dental fluorosis.

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