The National Institute of Health (NIH) believes that its biggest success story is fluoridation of public drinking water. In their opinion it has saved billions of dental health care dollars by preventing tooth decay and has spared many people the pain and suffering associated with cavities and its consequences. If the American Dental Association (ADA) and NIH had its way, 100% of our drinking water would have fluoride added.
On the other side of the issue are those who believe that adding fluoride to drinking water is folly and dangerous. These people are labeled kooks and communists and called all sorts of names. So what is the truth?
What I was taught in dental school
In dental school, every dentist is taught the benefits of fluoride in water. In fact, fluoride is so beneficial that not only should it be in the drinking water, but also in toothpaste. If the patient lives in a non-fluoridated area, then supplemental fluoride should be given orally, starting in infancy.
After graduating dental school, I thought, just like with mercury, fluoride was safe and a necessary part of dentistry. Dentists are taught that even in areas with fluoridated water, fluoride should be applied topically to children's teeth every six months. This is even done in some of our schools. Of benefit to the dentist, it is helpful that insurance pays for this, and the procedure can be done by a staff member.
Why I stopped using fluoride at home and in my practice
Just like with mercury, I was initially "tipped off" about fluoride by Dr. Hal Huggins. In the mid-seventies, I researched fluoride. I came to the conclusion that fluoride was a toxic poison, and it did not decrease tooth decay. I stopped using fluoride in my practice. In my own home we started using bottled water, toothpaste without fluoride, and juices not made from concentrate. The water used to reconstitute juice is almost always fluoridated.
Is it worth the risk?
There are no blinded studies to show a decrease in tooth decay when the water is fluoridated; however, there are studies to show harm from fluoridating the water. There is increased risk of hip fracture, birth defects, cancer, arthritis, thyroid dysfunction, and the lowering of a person's IQ. Even if fluoride did reduce tooth decay, would it be worth the risk?
And guess what - now the consensus in the dental world is that fluoride does not work to prevent decay systemically. It works topically. Fluoride is an enzyme killer and thus kills the bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay. If you want a poison to kill the bacteria, why place it in the water, just use it in toothpaste or swish with it.
Fifty percent of people in fluoridated areas manifest dental fluorsis - a defect in the enamel. This is caused by fluoride interfering with collagen formation. Why would anyone think this is just a cosmetic problem and not a warning sign of deeper trouble- but that is how the ADA portrays the problem.
How did this massive cover up take place?
It is too lengthy to tell the whole story; however, there is a new book, The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson that chronicles the entire sad tale. I highly recommend it. In synopsis, fluoride is very important in making the atomic bomb, and in many aspects of industry. It is needed for making steel, aluminum, high octane gasoline, pesticides, Teflon, bricks, fertilizer, drugs like Prozac, and on and on.
Even before World War II lawsuits started because people, crops and livestock were being harmed by surrounding industrial facilities using fluoride. Bryson, an award-winning investigative reporter, relates the tale of industry and government cover-up because fluoride was too important to be crippled by massive litigation and payout. What better way to convince the public and juries how benign fluoride was than by showing how beneficial it was in the drinking water? This book is well worth reading.
EPA, DuPont and flouride
Some change must be taking place. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as I related in the last newsletter, just brought charges against the DuPont Company for covering up the harm done to its workers in the manufacturing of Teflon. The harmful ingredient in Teflon is fluoride.
We shall see what happens.
© 2004, Mark A. Breiner, DDS
The information presented is for educational purposes only. You should consult a qualified health practitioner for diagnosis and treatment.