Fluoride Action Network

2 views: Should fluoride be put in water to prevent tooth decay?

Source: Oxford Mail | September 24th, 2014
Location: United Kingdom, England

YES says Iffley dentist Manuel Perez-Padron

I AM honoured to give my professional opinion to win the debate in favour for water fluoridation.

Fluoridation would reinforce the current successful strategies already in place in this country such as the Oral Health school nurseries promotion campaign.

This, alongside partnership work, is helping to improve NHS dental services both in quality and quantity and offer help to everyone in our country.

A very careful investigation and review of the strong evidence available shows and exposes an extremely serious health disease already impacting on our county’s children health and quality of life.

As a public health expert scientist and researcher my opinion has been based on the best clínical medical and dental evidence.

Therefore I ought to confirm that although the most common side effect of water fluoridation is little or mild dental fluorosis, it is in most cases not considered to be of aesthetic or public concern for those populations – especially in USA – where the vast majority of water fluoridation research has been taking place.

In addition, all studies show no clear evidence of other adverse effects and those available are of low quality research.

In conclusion my opinion is, without a shadow of doubt, that we need to encourage every single decision maker to vote for yes and to accept the overwhelming evidence to support water fluoridation.

This will help us eradicate our children’s unnecessary suffering.

Fluoridation can help to prevent tooth decay and solve such health problems and future concerns that (tooth decay) could have got even worse by the time the next dental survey takes place.

Therefore I am campaigning and advocating for the investment of the latest generation of water fluoridation technology.

This should also always be according to the minimum doses necessary to be efficient and cost effective. This is the 0.5 mg/litre suggested by the World Health Organisation.

Also, the people who drink more public water are always going to be the most deprived families.

Therefore, by fluoridating our water we will target those high risk children with worst levels of oral hygiene, higher sugar intake and poor regular dentistry attendance due to lack of family support to book appointments and attend to them as best way of prevention.

NO says Elizabeth McDonagh, spokeswoman for the National Pure Water Association

FLUORIDE is not an essential nutrient. If we do not need to ingest fluoride, there is absolutely no reason to add it to our water supplies.

The toxicity of fluoride compounds lies between that of lead and arsenic.

Earlier this year a review of developmental neurotoxins in The Lancet Neurology identified fluoride as one of a number of chemicals that could cause developmental disabilities.

Fluoride’s toxicity and the fact it’s not an essential nutrient probably explains why its level in human breast milk is extremely low.

This means that a baby drinking formula feed reconstituted with fluoridated water will be drinking up to 200 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby, significantly increasing the risk of dental fluorosis later in childhood.

Dental fluorosis is a manifestation of systemic fluoride toxicity and results in permanent mottling and discolouring of teeth.

A 2010 Fluoride Journal paper showed that 25 per cent of us in the UK are already getting more fluoride (from all sources) than is safe.

This figure rises to 67 per cent in fluoridated areas.

Fluoridation proponents have never shown that those at high risk of developing tooth decay in a community are receiving less fluoride compared to those at lower risk.

The authors of a 2009 Journal of Public Health Dentistry study considered the ‘optimal’ fluoride intake using dental fluorosis and dental caries outcomes.

They stated: “These findings suggest that achieving a caries-free status may have relatively little to do with fluoride intake, while fluorosis is clearly more dependent on fluoride intake.”

Despite fluoridation having started in 1945, nearly 70 years later there is not one high-quality scientific study that shows the addition of fluoridation chemicals to water supplies to be effective in reducing tooth decay.

A high-quality scientific study would be an individual, randomised controlled trial (RCT) using coded bottled water.

A call for just this type of study came in a recent letter to the British Dental Journal.

The authors refute an earlier claim in the journal that Hospital Episode Statistics-reported rates of extraction under general anaesthesia are a useful indicator of the efficacy of fluoridation.

The Department of Health presents the addition of fluoridation chemicals to water supplies as having the properties to prevent tooth decay, which fulfils the European Union’s definition of a medicinal product for human use – “any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in human beings” – Directive 2004/27/EC.

Water companies which administer industrial grade fluorosilicic acid to their customers are, in effect, medicating them without their individual, informed consent.

The National Pure Water Association is pleased to note that in his report to Oxfordshire County Council’s joint health overview and scrutiny committee, the Director of Public Health does not recommend fluoridation.

He outlines existing measures targeting resources towards those at high risk of tooth decay.