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Title: Role of fluoride in the retardation of dental caries
Author: Leach, Samuel Ashworth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 7957
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1956
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Reports of fluorine in connection with calcified tissue appeared in the literature as early as 1803, when an Italian chemist Morichini (1) found that both the enamel and dentine of a fossilised elephant found near Rome evolved 'fluoric acid' on treatment with concentrated sulphuric acid. Subsequent workers were able either to detect fluorine or not, depending on the sensitivity of the technique used, but the overall conclusion of the first half of the nineteenth century established the following facts of modern importance or recognised difficulties that have largely been realised only in the past few years. (1) Fluorine occurs in both teeth and bones, and the content is variable. (2) The fluorine content of fossil teeth and bones is higher than that of fresh tissue, the increased fluorine being attributed to abstraction of fluorine from ground waters by the calcium phosphate of the hard tissues. The study of fluorine was considerably enhanced by the improvement of micro-analytical technique, but interest derived its main impetus almost simultaneously from three independent fields of enquiry, dating from about 1930. These were agriculture, industrial health, and dentistry. The works of Velu (44), Grand, Charrat and Langlais (45) and Kirk et el (46) definitely incriminated fluorine as the factor responsible for the production of an endemic disease in cattle, the signs of which were mottling and abrasion of the teeth, thickening of the joints, lameness, spontaneous fractures and general unthriftiness. In 1937, Roholm (47) published his classical monograph on fluorine intoxication, in which he gave a detailed description of an hitherto unspecified disease occurring in a cryolite factory at Copenhagen. This disease was caused by inhalation of cryolite dust (Ma3 AlF6). Over 80% of the workers complained of acute or subacute gastric disturbance, such as loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Others complained of dyspnoea and palpitation, whilst one-third suffered from .... "affections in bones, joints, muscles, viz. localised or indefinite pains of a rheumatic character, and a stiffness in the body. " Similar findings were observed by the Medical Research Council Fluorine Committee (Agate, et a.l, 48) when they studied the health of workers at the Aluminium Factory at Fort William. It has been found that the industrial and agricultural problems are connected. Although animal fluorosis is rare, its main occurrence in the United Kingdom is associated with industries which use fluorine, such as steelworks, aluminium factories, and brickworks where marine clay is used. The particulate emissions from these factories are darried by the wind, deposited on the local herbage (within a radius of about ten miles) and eventually ingested by grazing cattle or sheep. The industrial and agricultural problems have largely resolved themselves into one of prevention. By a strange contrast, the problem in dentistry is not associated with the elimination of fluorine, but the proposed administration of fluorine via the drinking water to the extent of 1 p. p. m. (part per million), or by topical application of fluorine solutions containing as much as 4% sodium fluoride (173) in order to reduce the incidence of dental caries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available