Too much fluoride can be harmful to humans. It can cause damage to teeth and bones. Teeth can become dull with patchy, chalky bits and pock marks. Humans exposed to fluoride through work, such as in Aluminium plants, can get fluoride poisoning, which is diagnosed with symptoms of loss of appetite and sclerosis of the spine, pelvis and limbs. Sometimes fluoride poisoning can occur because levels of fluoride in water are too high and expose people to too much fluoride. Generally fluoride is placed in water sources in order to ensure children are given enough fluoride to promote healthy development of their teeth and prevent cavities as their teeth grow.
Fluoride, in essence, is toxic although the toxicity depends on solubility, reactivity, and structure. Lethal dosage is between 5 and 10 g, which is still under debate and research.
Sodium Fluoride (soluble salt) are mildly toxic but can cause acute poisoning.
The mechanism of toxicity relies on the fact that fluoride anion (charged ion) binds to calcium ions in the blood, resulting in insoluble calcium fluoride which causes hypocalcemia. Calcium is essential to the nervous system.
Sodium Fluoride is used to treat osteoporosis, and it is found that when doses are high, ulcers may gorm in the stomach.
Dental fluorosis, which alters appearance of teeth, is mild and is not considered a great worry.
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