Fluoride supplements do not reduce tooth decay in baby teeth and the health risks of the supplements have not been adequately studied, according to a new study.
The Cochrane Oral Health Group said Monday fluoride supplements significantly increase the risk of dental fluorosis. The condition is a change in appearance of the tooth’s enamel caused by too much consumption of fluoride over long periods when teeth are developing under the gums.
The New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. announced on Monday that Cochrane researchers reported no difference between fluoride supplements and topical fluorides and other preventative measures on permanents or deciduous teeth.
“We rated ten trials as being at unclear risk of bias and one at high risk of bias, and therefore the trials provide weak evidence about the efficacy of fluoride supplements,” the Cochrane research team said in a statement. It “found limited information” that showed the harmful effects associated with the use of fluoride supplements, according to the NYSCOF statement.
ADA Affirms Fluoride for Cavities
The American Dental Association said in a 2010 statement that dentists should continue to prescribe dietary fluoride supplements to children who are at high risk of developing tooth decay and to those who live in areas without community water fluoridations.
Steven Schonfeld, an ADA spokesperson and an expert on fluoridation told Medical Daily on Monday that fluoride supplements can be very useful for people who don’t get enough fluoride, and that extensive reviews about fluoride have debunked many of the claims made by the NYSCOF and other organizations like it.
“There is a preponderance of good and valid scientific evidence that fluoride is good and beneficial for reduced cavities,” Schonfeld said.
Advocates Challenge CDC
The coalition pointed out that the US Centers for Disease Control endorses and encourages the use of fluoride supplements to be routinely prescribed to children who don’t live in water fluoridated communities.
However, the NYSCOF said the CDC has ignored the earlier studies, such as research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that have also found that fluoride tablets and mouth rinses failed to reduce tooth decay.
The statement by the coalition also said there was a significant increase of dental fluorosis to be associated with fluoride supplements.
“In non-fluoridated communities, the use of fluoride supplements during the first 6 years of life is associated with a significant increase in the risk of developing dental fluorosis,” according to a meta-analysis by the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.
“Belgium stopped selling fluoride supplements in 2002 because documentation revealed that fluoride can cause physical and neurological harm with little evidence of decay reduction,” the coalition said.
According to the National Library of Medicine, fluoride comes with a variety of side effects which included teeth stains, unusual increase in saliva, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, tremor, and in some cases seizures.
“Despite growing scientific evidence that shows ingesting fluoride does not reduce tooth decay and can be harmful to health, including lowering IQ, it seems the CDC has convinced the Pew Charitable Trust to use its lobbying power and political clout to force more fluoride into Americans via the water supply, even where voters rejected fluoridation,” concluded NYSCOF in the statement.