Research shows that the supposed benefits aren’t really what they appear at all, and that fluoride actually has no positive effect on reducing tooth decay or cavity development.
The West Virginia University Rural Health Research Center reports that urban U.S. children, with more exposure to fluoridated water and dental care, have just as many cavities as less fluoride-exposed rural children.
‘For children’s dental health measures, it was found that fluoridation rates were not significantly related to the measures of either caries or overall condition of the teeth for urban or rural areas,’ the researchers write.
Since the 1940s, fluoride has been added to the water supply as a claimed method of preventing tooth decay. It was once believed (and still believed by some), that the primary benefits for teeth resulted from fluoride ingestion during the tooth-forming years. However, it is now thought by scientists, dentists, and researchers, that fluoride’s primary benefit comes from topical treatment, and not from ingestion.
Fluoride has also been shown to be ineffective at preventing tooth decay in the pits and fissures of teeth, which is where most decay occurs.
The topical application of fluoride is a proven method for protecting teeth from cavities and decay. But there is no scientific evidence that adding industrial grade fluoride to public water supplies is effective, In fact, the opposite may be true.
According to the handbook, Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, fluoride is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. It is a cumulative poison that accumulates in bone over the years. According to the Physicians Desk Reference, “in hypersensitive individuals, fluorides occasionally cause skin eruptions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, or urticaria. Gastric distress, headache, and weakness have also been reported. These hypersensitive reactions usually disappear promptly after discontinuation of the fluoride.”
From 1990 to 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association published three separate articles linking increased hip fracture rates to fluoride in the water. In the March 22, 1990 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Mayo Clinic researchers reported that fluoride treatment of osteoporosis increased hip fracture rate and bone fragility.
A study by Procter and Gamble showed that as little as half the amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water supplies resulted in a sizable and significant increase in genetic damage. Epidemiology research in the mid-1970’s by the late Dr. Dean Burk, head of the cytochemistry division of the National Cancer Institute, indicated that 10,000 or more fluoridation-linked cancer deaths occur yearly in the United States. In 1989, the ability of fluoride to transform normal cells into cancer cells was confirmed by Argonne National Laboratories. Results released in 1989 of studies carried out at the prestigious Batelle Research Institute showed that fluoride was linked to a rare form of liver cancer in mice, oral tumors and cancers in rats, and bone cancer in male rats. Since 1991, the New Jersey Department of Health found that the incidence of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, was far higher in young men exposed to fluoridated water as compared to those who were not.
In addition to the well documented toxic effects of fluoride, fluoride even at dosages of 1 part per million, found in artificially fluoridated water, can inhibit enzyme systems, damage the immune system, contribute to calcification of soft tissues, worsen arthritis and, of course, cause dental fluorosis in children. These are unsightly white, yellow or brown spots that are found in teeth exposed to fluoride during childhood. In 1993, the Subcommittee on Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride of the National Research Council admitted that 8% to 51% and sometimes up to 80% of the children living in fluoridated areas have dental fluorosis. Malnourished people, particularly children, usually targeted for fluoridation, are at greater risks to experience fluoride’s harmful effects.
Surprisingly, the most recent studies do not even show that water fluoridation is effective in reducing tooth decay. In the largest U.S. study of fluoridation and tooth decay, United States Public Health Service dental records of over 39,000 school children, ages 5-17, from 84 areas around the United States showed that the number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth per child was virtually the same in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. Dr. John Colquhoun, former Chief Dental Officer of the Department of Health for Auckland, New Zealand, investigated tooth decay statistics from about 60,000 12 to 13 year old children and showed that fluoridation had no significant effect on tooth decay rate.