This November, Ballot Measure P will allow Healdsburg voters to decide whether or not to stop fluoridating their city’s tapwater. Most residents would like to know more about the issue before voting.
On September 20, 2014, Fluoride-Free Healdsburg sponsored a Community Health Forum at the Healdsburg Regional Library. It was a rare opportunity for the public to ask questions about water fluoridation, and get answers from authorities on the subject.
A brief presentation was followed by an open discussion with the three panelists, Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Laura Gaeta Wilson, Board Certified family practice physician Dr. April Hurley, and special guest Dr. Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH, Founding Director of the Institute of Comprehensive Dental Studies for Aesthetic Dentistry, Neuromuscular and Craniofacial Pain.
Former Fluoridation Proponent
Dr. Osmunson has an intimate understanding of both sides of the water fluoridation issue because he himself actively promoted fluoridation from 1978 until around 2000, giving talks, and supporting fluoridation in panel discussions.
He says, “One of my patients urged me to read the scientific studies for myself. It took me perhaps 5 years of intense study before I had the courage and confidence to speak up in public against fluoridation of public water.
Proponents Have Not Actually Read Both Sides
“I should be the last one to criticize anyone for promoting fluoridation because I promoted it for around 25 years. However, I had not previously read both sides of the research for myself.”
“I am confident that most dentists and other medical professionals who still promote fluoridation have not actually read both sides of the literature for themselves.”
Without Clear Benefits, Any Risk or Cost is Unacceptable
Dr. Osmunson explains, “The FDA CDER reviewed the research on water fluoridation and found the studies lacked evidence of effectiveness. Many studies indicate no lifetime benefit from water fluoridation.”
[FDA CDER is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.]
“There are no prospective randomised controlled trials, the gold standard of research studies, on fluoridation safety, exposure, or efficacy, and no studies which actually used the fluoridation chemicals frequently added to water.”
“Communities have stopped fluoridation with no increase in dental decay. It appears any benefit of fluoride is from topical application and not from ingested fluoride. Without clear significant lifetime benefits from fluoridation, any risk or expense is unacceptable.”
Even Mild Dental Fluorosis is Expensive to Repair
Dr. Osmunson says, it is “not uncommon to have patients receive gorgeous porcelain veneers to, in part, correct their dental fluorosis (white and brown damage from too much ingested fluoride).
Costs for cosmetic repair of mild dental fluorosis range from several hundred dollars to well over $25,000, and the teeth will need to be retreated every 10 to 20 years, for lifetime costs which may exceed $100,000 per person.”
“With over 40% of children in the United States having visible dental fluorosis, the true costs for cosmetic damage to teeth alone is substantial. Certainly, for financial reasons, most will not seek treatment, but the public liability for damage is significant.
Public Health dentists seldom provide cosmetic dentistry and therefore underrate the increased dental damage from fluoridation.”
Brains are More Important than Teeth
Dr. Osmunson says, “the numerous human studies suggesting neurological damage, including several IQ points drop, are of most concern. The brain is a terrible thing to waste. The question is not whether fluoridation reduces IQ, but at what age and how much.
Visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org for more information.