NEW YORK, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ — The Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice shows how the Precautionary Principle applies to fluoridation (1).
“Some studies have raised concerns about the safety and efficacy of the practice [fluoridation],” write authors Tickner and Coffin of the Lowell, Massachusetts, Center for Sustainable Production.
Precautionary Principle: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”
” … there are indications that some dental procedures (and other activities associated with dentistry) may actually cause subtle harm at a population level,” write the authors.
Babies fed fluoride-laced water risk discolored teeth, according to the American Dental Association (ADA) (2) who claims fluoride chemicals injected into public water supplies prevents cavities.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that up to 1/2 of school children now have dental fluorosis.(3)
In 1989, the government’s National Institute of Dental Research found little difference in cavity rates between children who do and don’t receive fluoride, report Tickner and Coffin.
“Further studies have shown that the incidence of cavities has fallen throughout the western industrialized world regardless of fluoride use,” they report.
“…studies indicate an association between long-term, low-dose exposure to fluoride and increased risk of hip fractures … [and between] elevated fluoride exposure in children and decreased IQs … ,” write Tickner and Coffin.
The ADA claims “optimal” levels of fluoridation are safe.
“However, this claim is problematic since it does not consider cumulative exposures from many other sources (toothpaste, pesticide residues on foods, mechanically deboned meat and many processed foods and beverages made with fluoridated water),” write Tickner and Coffin.
“As medical providers, dentists have a responsibility to understand and prevent potential unintended impacts of their interventions,” they write.
The authors ask, “What are the alternatives or opportunities for prevention?” and “Is this activity needed in the first place?”
According to lawyer Paul S. Beeber, President of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, “It’s a no-brainer. Stop fluoridation today. Absolutely no one will be harmed and many will be helped. That’s the best precaution there is.”
Evidence based dentistry is the emerging standard in dental research, representing a shift away from subjective expert opinion towards objective, verifiable evidence through systematic review and scrutiny.