dental care


Dangers of Fluoride

by Cathy of Somerset, dental hygiene student
(New Hampshire)

Dangers of Fluoride

Dangers of Fluoride

What are the dangers of fluoride ? Fluoride is a substance which is often recommended to us, as an element that can help us prevent tooth decay. Fluoride compound is naturally derived from rocks and soils during the process when water passes through rock formation and fluoride ions are formed. It is said that all forms of water contain fluoride, although in different degrees of concentration.

In 1977, the National Research Council for Drinking Water and Health, supported by studies made by the National Academy of Science, released information about fluoride, its sources and its benefits.

Recently however, and 31 years later, the November 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, disclosed certain findings about fluoride research. There was actually no sufficient evidence that fluoride can prevent tooth decay. In fact, they even went as far as disclosing that fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, or that condition of the teeth where it becomes white spotted or yellowed.

It is now revealed that fluoride as a supplement or as a health providing ingredient of a toothpaste was never tested by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA for its supposed dental health benefits or even for its safety. According to the FDA, this was so because the fluoride substance has been in the market for as early as 1938, an era when the FDA testing laws were not yet enforced.

Dangers of Fluoride According to the 2007 American Dental Association Publication

The American Dental Association, published in its website that there are sufficient information that fluoride actually caused the permanent discoloration of teeth among children. In fact, the information about fluoride and its negative effects were already available in 1999.

According to the researchers of the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, it was confirmed that the use of fluoride supplements among children 6 years old and below, puts this sector at risk of developing dental fluorosis. The Center for Disease Control gave their side regarding this issue, and stated that fluoride can only provide topical benefits and that swallowing fluoride will render children susceptible to the development of dental fluorosis.

The New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. even reported that studies also link fluoride as causal to the occurrence of kidney damage among children.

Fluoride and How are Teeth Affected by Fluorides - What are the Dangers?

Accordingly, a child whose teeth is subjected to too much fluoride will develop tiny specks of white streaks in his teeth which later develops into black and brown discolorations eventually resulting to cracking and erosion of the teeth. This is what is known as dental fluorosis and often affects children below 6 years old.

Although water is known to contain fluoride, the amount being questioned is minimal and is not considered as detrimental. Today, however, there is already a growing concern about the use of fluoride. Independent researches are being conducted by scientists regarding the uses of fluoride substances, as vitamin supplements aside from the more common use as toothpaste.

Included in the alarming findings about fluoride is its possible link to bone cancer. Even the researchers of the US Environmental Protection Agency, confirm that animals given low levels of fluoride showed signs of bone cancer. In New Jersey, it was gathered that in areas where water had more levels of fluoridation, bone cancer among male children was 2 to 7 times much greater than in areas where water had less fluoridation.

In fact, it is reported that a number of countries including those considered as industrialized, have banned fluoridation due to the dangers of it.

However, despite these alarming information, it was noted that the report made mention that children above eight years old are not at risk of developing dental fluorosis. Accordingly, dental fluorosis often affects only children whose teeth are in the developing stage. Nevertheless, it is best that the public is properly informed and warned about the possible effects and dangers of fluoride.

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