Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride to be added to UK tap water to beat tooth decay

Source: Worcester News | September 24th, 2021 | By Cat Phillips
Location: United Kingdom
Note from Fluoride Action Network:
The author has taken her information on the potential for fluoride’s adverse effects from the promoters of fluoridation. Sadly, the author, much like the promoters, didn’t attempt to understand the well-known risks to fluoride: neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption and bone and kidney effects.

FLUORIDE may be added to UK drinking water in an effort to cut tooth decay.

Britain’s chief medical officers, including Chris Whitty, said estimates show that more mineral in water would reduce cavities by 28 per cent among poorest children

An evidence review published this week concluded: “On balance, there is strong scientific evidence that water fluoridation is an effective public health intervention for reducing the prevalence of tooth decay and improving dental health equality across the UK.

“It should be seen as a complementary strategy, not a substitute for other effective methods of increasing fluoride use.

“Tooth decay is a significant, yet largely preventable, public health problem in the UK that causes substantial work for the NHS.

“It affects people at all stages of life and is the most common oral disease in children. There is a strong association with deprivation.”

The review said that tooth decay is prevalent among young children across the UK.

In the school year of 2019, 23.4 per cent of five year-olds in England had experienced tooth decay.

There are a number of reasons why people can suffer tooth decay including a sugary diet, poor dental hygiene and, in much of the country, a lack of fluoride, the review found.

Tooth decay can significantly affect individuals’ general health and wellbeing as well as have a detrimental effect on children’s learning and development as pain and infections from decay can result in school absences.

In 2019, six per cent of children aged under 16 in England had time off nursery or school in the last 6 months because of problems with their teeth, mouth or gums.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water and some foods and the amount of naturally occurring fluoride in water varies across the UK due to geological differences.

Water fluoridation schemes involve adding fluoride to community drinking water supplies in areas of low natural fluoride, increasing the level to that known to reduce tooth decay.

Evidence from observational and interventional studies shows that appropriate levels of fluoride can reduce the prevalence and severity of dental decay in both adults and children.

The decline would be 17 per cent in the least deprived areas, rising to 28 per cent in the most deprived, and the number of hospital admissions for tooth extractions in children and young people is estimated to reduce by 45 to 68 per cent.

Water fluoridation, however, is not a substitute for good oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups and limiting sugar intake but it has an effect even when those are absent.

The report pointed out there are adverse associations between much higher levels of natural fluoride in drinking water and the prevalence of dental mottling, referred to as dental fluorosis.

Dental mottling is a small risk from the levels used in public health but not a uniform one in all fluoridated areas and can still affect people in non-fluoridated areas.

Severe fluorosis is only common in areas with very high natural fluoride levels, well above those used in public health interventions.

There are some weaker studies which claim an association with hip fracture, Down’s syndrome, kidney stones, bladder cancer or osteosarcoma (a cancer of the bone).

However, there is conflicting evidence to support these claims and prevailing public health opinion is now that there is no significant association between water fluoridation and these conditions.

Water fluoridation is an area that often attracts exaggerated and unevidenced statements that can cause unnecessary concern, the review said.

“As with all things in medicine and public health there is a balance of risk and benefit.

“There is unquestionably an issue with tooth decay in the UK and an entrenched inequality which needs to be addressed.

“Fluoridation of water can reduce this common problem.”

*Original article online at https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/19603797.fluoride-added-uk-tap-water-beat-tooth-decay/