Children are fluoride overdosed, from all sources, at levels once thought to protect against dental fluorosis (discolored teeth), researchers report in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, (December 2017), reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Fluoride intake to prevent dental fluorosis was set in the 1930s and 40s when naturally fluoridated water was the predominant source, reports Bhagavatula et al. “The number of sources of fluoride has increased substantially and so has the prevalence of dental fluorosis,” they write.
Bhagavatula found 30% of 13-year-olds in the ongoing Iowa Fluoride Study had fluorosis including most who consumed fluoride at levels once considered “optimal” to prevent fluoride-discolored teeth. More children are probably afflicted since children with only one fluorosed tooth were excluded. Four of the 437 children had moderate or severe fluorosis.
Ninety-five percent were non-Hispanic white from higher socio-economic families. Fluorosis rates may be higher in the general population. Also, fluorosis is more prevalent in the black community.
Some children consumed over recommended doses but didn’t have fluorosis, “indicating differences in susceptibility to dental fluorosis,” they report.
Adding fluoride to water, fluoridation, began 73 years ago, promising to substantially reduce tooth decay with perhaps 10% afflicted with mild dental fluorosis.
“Both promises were broken. Many are ingesting too much fluoride as evidenced by an increase of moderate/severe dental fluorosis from 4% to 23% in one decade.” says Dentist Bill Osmunson, FAN Director.
Senator Bernie Sanders declared a dental health crisis in 2015 even though over 70% of US drinking water systems are fluoridated.
Osmunson says, “One size doesn’t fit all. Dental fluorosis, often dismissed as merely cosmetic, is really the visible evidence of fluoride toxicity. Coupled with new disturbing evidence that fluoride and/or fluorosis are linked to cognitive decline, it’s time to stop artificially fluoridating water supplies. Put fluoride back in doctors’ offices where it can be better controlled.”
Bhagavatula admits most researchers believe fluoride’s primary cavity-preventing mechanism is topical, not by ingestion.
However, fluoride ingestion causes fluorosis.
Osmunson says, “We have to reduce our fluoride exposure. HHS recommendation to reduce fluoride concentration in water was a good start, but inadequate.”
Bhagavatula writes, “The clinical presentation of dental fluorosis ranges from almost imperceptible white lacy striations in milder forms to brownish discoloration and/or confluent pitting in severe cases.”
Osmunson adds, “Increased dental caries occurs with moderate/severe fluorosis.”