T(ea) for Tooth Loss

The letter “T” can stand for many things, but to one unfortunate woman, T stood for tea and tooth loss.  With dental troubles like that it sounds like she could use another “T” word as in Team – The Dental Implant Team at Periodontal Associates to be more specific.

One Michigan mother relied heavy on tea to keep her hydrated and alert throughout her day.  Every day for the past 17 years this 47 year old woman drank 100 tea bags a day.  This habit was discovered to be damaging when she started experiencing bone pain in her extremities. In conjunction with pain, she most likely visited a periodontist like Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman to remove all of her teeth after they became damaged and brittle.

These strange symptoms concerned her to contact her primary physician in fear she had cancer, but the cancer was not detected. Instead, tests revealed high bone density and extreme levels of fluoride in her blood.

With missing teeth, pain, and no answers, she was directed to Dr. Sudhaker Rao, section head of bone and mineral metabolism and director of the bone and mineral research laboratory at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Dr. Rao was the one responsible for discovering her bizarre habit of drinking one pitcher of tea made with 100-150 tea bags at a time.   Due to this tea strength, she had a fluoride concentration in her blood of 0.43 milligrams per liter, while the normal concentration is less than 0.10 mg per liter, Rao reported.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman recommend fluoride but not these levels!  In fact, her habit and dangerous fluoride ingestion lead to a bone disease called skeletal fluorosis.

Flouride, in the proper doses, is a great means to prevent tooth decay, tooth loss, and eventually the need for dental implants.  In fact, fluoride is even prescribed as a topical use to adults and children who live in home without fluoride in their water. However, dangerously high levels of fluoride can lead to bone disease as seen in this Michigan woman.

Fluoride does not make teeth harder or more dense like it did in this woman’s bones, but it does help them fight plaque, decay, and cavities. Most children who grow up drinking water infused with fluoride generally have better overall oral health.

When proper habits such as uses of fluoride, brushing, flossing, and good diet are not followed, many patients come to see Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman.  Here at Periodontal Associates in Aurora, CO we specialize in treating gum disease and dental implants.  This tea obsess woman would be a smart woman to visit with our periodontists as placing dental implants can sometimes mean the needs to other procedures first such as: bone grafts, sinus lifts, or extractions.

Many people suffer from bone loss or a bone disease if their missing teeth are not replaced, and Dr. Ken Versman, Doug Heller, and Eric Beckman are specially trained to strengthen bone to create a natural and dependable smile.

If you are concerned about pain you may be experiencing in your jawbone, mouth, or teeth, we urge you to call our Periodontal Associates office at (303) 755-4500 where we serve all of the Denver metro area.  We will be happy to overview your health history, dietary habits, and radiographs while performing a full comprehensive exam to detect disease such as bone disease or gum disease and create an individualized plan for you.


Please visit our website for more information at www.periodontahealth.com.  We look forward to protecting your health while providing you with an aesthetically pleasing smile with dental implants.