Fluoride Action Network

Cavities not increasing – but decreasing – when fluoridation stops

Source: Fluoride Action Network | January 23rd, 2001
Location: Canada, National

The latest study to show that cavities do not increase when a community stops fluoridating its water, has been published in the February issue of the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. According to the authors of the study, who compared the cavity rates of two communities in British Columbia, Canada: “The prevalence of caries decreased over time in the fluoridation-ended community while remaining unchanged in the fluoridated community.”

The abstract of this study is listed below, along with the abstracts of other recent studies, all of which have found that when fluoridation ends, cavities do not increase. Such findings stand in sharp contradiction to the American Dental Association’s dubious assertion that:

“Dental decay can be expected to increase if water fluoridation in a community is discontinued for one year or more, even if topical products such as fluoride toothpaste and fluoride rinses are widely used.” http://www.ada.org/public/topics/fluoride/facts-benefit.html#5

According to Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoriation, “science proves the ADA is wrong about the claimed benefits of water fluoridation and they are wrong about the safety of water fluoridation, too.”

A recent Canadian review on fluoridation has provided a reason for fluoridation’s inefficacy – namely, swallowing fluoride has little beneficial effect on teeth. According to the review,

“Although it was initially thought that the main mode of action of fluoride was through its incorporation into enamel, thereby reducing the solubility of the enamel, this pre-eruptive effect is likely to be minor.”

The Canadian review’s admission marks the change that is currently underway amongst dental researchers concerning the way fluoride works.

In the 1940s, when fluoridation was launched, it was believed that fluoride protected teeth by being swallowed and incorporated into the developing tooth enamel, thereby making the tooth “less soluble”.

This “systemic effect” (which was the key rationale behind putting fluoride in the water), has since been shown to provide little benefit to teeth. According to an article recently published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, the fluoride that is swallowed and incorporated into teeth is “insufficient to have a measurable effect” on reducing cavities. (Ref: Featherstone, J.D.B. (2000). The Science and Practice of Caries Prevention. Journal of the American Dental Association. 131, 887-899)

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now admitting that the benefits to teeth from fluoride “primarily are topical.”

The fact that fluoride’s benefits are topical makes swallowing fluoride akin to swallowing nail varnish, according to Paul Connett, Professor of Chemistry at St. Lawrence University, New York.

“It makes more sense, for those who want to take the risks, to apply fluoride directly to the teeth in the form of toothpaste. This gives people a choice in the matter – and would go a long way towards ending the controversy and divisiveness that arises when public health departments seek to fluoridate an entire community’s water supply.”