Fluoride Action Network

Beware of ‘tooth fairy science’ in dental research

Source: DrBicuspid.com | October 26th, 2017 | By Lori Roniger, Associate Editor


Does periodontal disease in pregnant women lead to miscarriages? If mothers-to-be are exposed to fluoride, will their children have low IQs? Such findings are often the result of “tooth fairy science,” and dental professionals should be skeptical when reading this type of research, according to a talk at the recent ADA 2017 annual meeting in Atlanta.

In a sometimes humorous lecture, Angelo Mariotti, DDS, PhD, a professor and the chair of periodontology at Ohio State University, spoke about the authenticity of perio-systemic relationships reported in the medical literature.

… “Most periodontal-systemic associations are the result of ‘tooth fairy science,’?” he said.

“Tooth fairy science” refers to conducting research on a phenomenon before establishing that the phenomenon exists, such as performing studies on the amount of money left per tooth by the tooth fairy without having first verified that the tooth fairy actually exists.

…  A long list of diseases are associated with periodontal disease, but Dr. Mariotti explained that many of these relationships have been found only in observational studies, and no one research paper can ever be considered the final word.

In general, the vast majority of observational studies can’t reproduce their data, he said.

… Dr. Mariotti also pointed out that the recently published study reporting a relationship between higher fluoride levels in the urine of pregnant women and later lower IQ scores in the children with whom they were pregnant was an observational study…

*Original article online at http://www.drbicuspid.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=hyg&pag=dis&ItemID=322249