Article Date: 12 May 2007 - 1:00 PDT
Contrary to belief, fluoridation is damaging teeth with little cavity reduction, according to a review of recent studies reported in Clinical Oral Investigations.(1) Pizzo and colleagues reviewed English-language fluoridation studies published from January 2001 to June 2006 and write, "Several epidemiological studies conducted in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities suggest that [fluoridation] may be unnecessary for caries prevention…"They also report that fluoride-damaged teeth spiked upwards to 51% from the 10-12% found over 60 years ago in "optimally" fluoridated communities. Dental fluorosis is white-spotted, yellow, brown-stained and/or pitted teeth. Fluoridation began in 1945 when dentists thought that ingested fluoride incorporated into children's developing tooth enamel to prevent cavities. However, Pizzo's group reports that fluoride ingestion confers little, if any, benefit and fails to reduce oral health disparities in low-income Americans. Also, any difference in fluoride tooth enamel surface concentration between fluoridated and low-fluoridated areas is minimal. And the relationship between higher enamel fluoride levels to less tooth decay was not found. "Some risk of increasing fluorosis may be attributed to the ingestion of powdered infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water… [and] foods and beverages processed in fluoridated areas… Furthermore, the use of dietary fluoride supplements during the first 6 years of life is associated with a significant increase in the risk of developing fluorosis," they write. Lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation says, "Recent news reports claiming fluoride-free bottled water caused the cavity increase trends in toddlers are implausible because rising fluorosis rates clearly indicate that children are over-fluoridated, not under-fluoridated." "There's no dispute that too much fluoride damages teeth, actually making them more decay-prone. Research is indicated to see if fluoride is causing the cavity escalation," says Beeber. Some studies Pizzo reviewed focused on communities that stopped water fluoridation. "…after the cessation, caries prevalence did not rise, remained almost the same or even decreased further," writes Pizzo's group. "In most European countries, where [water fluoridation] has never been adopted, a substantial decline [75%] in caries prevalence has been reported in the last decades," they report. To avoid dental fluorosis, the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control advise against mixing concentrated infant formulas with fluoridated water. "Fluoride is bone- and health-damaging as well," says Beeber.
New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, IncPO Box 263Old Bethpage, NY 11804www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof http://www.fluorideaction.net/