Friday, April 4, 2014

Health Care and Flouride

Over the past several decades, a huge push in public health has been the fluoridation of water in the water of most municipalities in the United States. Fluoride-containing compounds are used in topical and systemic fluoride therapy for preventing tooth decay. They are used for water fluoridation and in many products associated with oral hygiene.

Originally, sodium fluoride was used to fluoridate water; hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) and its salt sodium hexafluorosilicate (Na2SiF6) are more commonly used additives, especially in the United States. The fluoridation of water is known to prevent tooth decay and is considered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as "one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century", according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the American Dental Association, there are two ways that you can benefit from fluoride: topically and systemically. Topical fluoride is the type of fluoride you receive at the dental office or when you use dental products—such as toothpastes or mouth rinses. Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply, which in the United States applies to nearly 74 percent of the population.

While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride taken in largely from drinking water and other beverages strengthens tooth enamel making it stronger and more resistant to cavities. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, you are providing a “topical” benefit because the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. More info can be found at this site: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fluoride .

Also according to the American Dental Association (ADA), on January 25,1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan became the world's first city to adjust the level of fluoride in its water supply. Since that time, fluoridation has dramatically improved the oral health of tens of millions of Americans. Community water fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay. Approximately 72.4% of the U.S. population served by public water systems receive the benefit of optimally fluoridated water.

Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the adjustment of the existing, naturally occurring fluoride levels in drinking water to an optimal fluoride level recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service (0.7 – 1.2 parts per million) for the prevention of tooth decay. Water that has been fortified with fluoride is similar to fortifying milk with Vitamin D, table salt with iodine, and bread and cereals with folic acid.

Studies conducted throughout the past 65 years have consistently shown that fluoridation of community water supplies is safe and effective in preventing dental decay in both children and adults. Simply by drinking water, children and adults can benefit from fluoridation's cavity protection whether they are at home, work or school.

Today, studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20 – 40%, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste. Fluoridation is one public health program that actually saves money. An individual can have a lifetime of fluoridated water for less than the cost of one dental filling. More info can be located at this site: http://www.ada.org/fluoride.aspx .

However, there has been a growing pushback against using flouride in the public water systems. Fluoridation of water has an overwhelmingly large body of evidence that states it is not only unnecessary, but downright unethical, ineffective and unhealthy. The purported benefits of fluoridated water are more in the general imagination than in reality because fluoride's action on the body is purely topical, not systemic. However, the negative impact of fluoride is purely systemic, and could well be topical as well. Fluoridation belongs to an era when hazardous chemicals were used under the erroneous belief that they somehow helped humanity - DDT, leaded petroleum, asbestos and PCBs, effluents being passed off as vanilla essence and BPA-laced plastics that were considered food grade among plastics.

Fluoride has toxic effects and can do more harm than good, especially if one is already vulnerable due to a certain illness or health condition. Far from being the panacea to a lack of dental health, water fluoridation is causing a condition amongst children that discolors their teeth. This condition is called dental fluorosis. Diseases of the bones, such as brittle bones in the elderly or in patients with advanced forms of kidney disease are also one of the dangers of ingesting fluoridated water.

Fluoride, consumed excessively, as can be the case with fluoridated water, leads to its accumulation in the pineal gland, severely slowing down the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for optimal functioning of the body, including sleep regulation. It is also known to accumulate in other parts of the body, thereby rendering them unhealthy. Fluoride can also cause bone cancer in young men, thyroid malfunction, and arthritis in otherwise healthy humans, to name only a few.

More information on this debate can be found at this website: http://www.naturalnews.com/040986_fluoride_water_supply_chemical_waste.html .

Additionally, as reported in the Huffington Post, a recently-published Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have "significantly lower" IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas. Fluoride can also increase manganese absorption, compounding problems, since manganese in drinking water has also been linked to lower IQ in children. Studies have shown that fluoride toxicity can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including:

• Increased lead absorption
• Disrupts synthesis of collagen
• Hyperactivity and/or lethargy
• Muscle disorders
• Thyroid disease
• Arthritis
• Dementia
• Bone fractures
• Lowered thyroid function
• Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)
• Inactivates 62 enzymes and inhibits more than 100
• Inhibited formation of antibodies
• Genetic damage and cell death
• Increased tumor and cancer rate


More indepth material about this report on water flouridation and its affects can be found at this site: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/fluoride_b_2479833.html .

Meanwhile, as the argument rages over whether or not to flouridate water systems, dentists recommend using toothpaste with flouride. Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt, instead of waiting until children are older, according to new guidelines by the American Dental Association.

To fight the rising number of cavities in the very young, the dental group now advises getting a jump-start on prevention. However, they emphasize only the tiniest amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used to minimize the risk of mild discoloration, white spots or streaking of the teeth, a condition called fluorosis that is caused by ingesting fluoride toothpaste at a young age.

The Journal of the American Dental Association this month concluded that scientific evidence, though limited in children under age 6 and more robust in older children, demonstrated that fluoride toothpaste is effective in controlling tooth decay, and that “the appropriate amount” should be used “by all children regardless of age.” More details can be found at this site: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/dental-group-advises-fluoride-toothpaste-before-age-2/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 .

Regardless of your position on flouride, there is a body of evidence on each side of the debate about its effectiveness for dental care. As a concerned and educated person, you should research the material and talk with professionals to determine your feelings about how to proceed. For some, you may consider using flouride as too risky. And for others, there may be no concerns. Talk with your dentist about their opinion and if they can point you to information that can help you learn more about it. The bottom line is, however, don’t ignore your dental hygiene.

Until next time.

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