Letter to the Editor:
The Lynchburg Academy of Medicine and the Lynchburg Dental Society would like to respond to Dan Lynch’s Sept. 14 letter to the editor regarding the fluoridation of our drinking water. We ask that you consider the following facts in support of fluoridation of our community water sources:
The most common childhood disease is dental caries (cavities), a bacterial infection in teeth. More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25 percent in both children and adults. Simply by drinking city water, everyone benefits from the fluoride’s cavity protection whether they are at home, work or school.
Fluoridation is merely an increase of the level of the naturally occurring fluoride present in all drinking water sources to the level recommended for optimal dental health. Community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to deliver fluoride to people of all ages and income levels. The cost of this public health measure is estimated to range from approximately 50 cents per year per person in large communities to approximately $3 per year per person in small communities. For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.
The addressed concern in the Sept. 14 letter is fluorosis of teeth, which the letter writer describes as mottled enamel. Fluorosis of teeth encompasses a large range from a minor white-spot area that can be seen under magnification to the most severe form of fluorosis, mottled enamel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, the levels of fluoride needed to see severe fluorosis are exponentially greater than the safe amount allowed in drinking water.
Let evidence-based science be your guide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Fluoridation is also fully endorsed by the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.
Dr. CARL HOEGERL
Lynchburg Academy of Medicine
Dr. TREY WOOLWINE
Lynchburg Dental Society