Fluoride Action Network


Fluorosis from brick-tea was discovered during the last decade in western and northern parts of China. Dental fluorosis has a high prevalence among children in these brick-tea endemic areas, but skeletal fluorosis does not normally become apparent until adulthood. In July 2002 we examined 132 primary school children, age 8 to 13 years, in a low-fluoride-water area of Naqu County, Tibet, and found that 111 of the children (84.1%) had dental fluorosis from drinking traditional brick-tea. Among these 111 children, 96 (86.5%) were found by radiological examination to have developmental skeletal abnormalities in the wrist. We view these findings as warning signs of early-stage skeletal fluorosis indicating that dental fluorosis in children should be considered more than a matter of cosmetic concern.