The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 91% of rural Alaskan Native adolescents have cavities whether their water is fluoridated or not. (1) The CDC acknowledges that poor diets and lack of dental care are the probable culprits but, without evidence of need, CDC is recklessly recommending more fluoridation, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Fluoride, once believed to reduce tooth decay through ingestion, is now shown to act predominantly on the surface of the teeth (CDC, 1999).
“This makes water fluoridation out-dated and ineffective as this CDC report proves,” says Paul Connett, Ph.D., FAN’s Executive Director. “Fluoridation exposes Americans unnecessarily to fluoride’s adverse effects, including lowered IQ, thyroid dysfunction and bone cancer.”
Tooth decay is rampant in this CDC-studied rural low-income fluoridated Alaskan Native (AN) population – 67% of 4-5 year-olds; 73% of 6-8 year-olds; 68% of 9-11 year-olds and 91% of 12-15 year-olds have cavities and much of it is untreated.
About 400 AN children under 6-years-old required full-mouth restorations including extractions and extensive tooth decay repair requiring general anesthesia, costing an average of $6,000 per case, in 2007.
Dr. Brad Whistler, Alaska state oral health director and a co-author of the study, said, “When they smile, you see a lot of silver teeth.”
Some kids get no care at all. Up to 68% of children suffer with untreated tooth decay.
After careful study, both the city councils in Juneau and Fairbanks, Alaska have stopped fluoridating their water supplies.
“This report by the pro-fluoridation CDC Oral Health Branch is a somewhat desperate attempt to stop the inevitable crumbling of water fluoridation throughout Alaska,” says Connett.” Rather than admit fluoride’s risks, the CDC continues to serve the economic interests of the dental lobby rather than the health of the American people,” says Connett.
Fluoride is in virtually all processed foods and high in ocean fish. The CDC failed to measure these children’s total fluoride intake from food and dental products but reports “fluoridating village water systems likely would decrease the prevalence and severity of dental caries.”
“That’s an unscientific conclusion as well as illogical,” says Connett.
Additionally, 40% of the villages lack piped water systems suitable for fluoridation and additional piped water systems need to be built.
“It’s clear that these children urgently need dental care, not more fluoride. Yet, the CDC offers no remedy except, with no evidence, to put more fluoride into malnourished bodies while adding a financial burden to an already very low-income region,” says Connett.
In the 1920’s, only 1% of the AN population had cavities. In the 1940’s, air transportation brought in processed food, gradually changing the AN diet from fish and game to a diet high in cavity-causing carbohydrates. By 2005, 3/4 of AN kindergarteners state-wide had cavities.
This current CDC study reports that “soda pop consumption was associated with an approximately 30% increased risk for caries in permanent teeth for each soda pop consumed per day.” Many sodas contain fluoride from the water used in processing, according to the USDA’s Fluoride in Foods database.
“In many respects, the CDC Oral Health branch acts like an extension of the American Dental Association (ADA) which behaves more like a trade union for dental interests than a bona fide professional body. We think the CDC is promoting fluoridation here because the ADA won’t let them push the real remedy – the hiring of more Dental Therapists (DT) – which the ADA vehemently opposes because DTs infringe upon dentists’ lucrative monopoly – even though few dentists will live or work in rural Alaska,” says Connett.
However, public-health-dentists and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation support and encourage the creation of more Dental Therapists for the entire United States.
Dr. Connett has presented more arguments against fluoridation in the book he co-authored, “The Case Against Fluoride” (Chelsea Green, 2010).
1) CDC, MMWR, “Dental Caries in Rural Alaska Native Children — Alaska, 2008,” September 23, 2011