A number of studies conducted prior to the introduction of fluoride-containing toothpastes demonstrated that the prevalence of dental caries was 40% to 60% lower in communities with optimal water fluoride concentrations than in communities with low water fluoride concentrations.” (www.vitamins-nutrition.org)
The guidelines published by the World Health Organization in 1984 stated that fluoride was “an effective agent for preventing dental caries [cavities] if taken in optimal amounts.”
The Dangers of Fluoride
As with most health issues, the individual health of each patient varies rendering the establishment a specific optimal amount impossible. Each person’s health situation determines how much fluoride is absorbed by the body. For example, those who do not take in enough calcium will increase the retention of fluoride – which is quite interesting when studies come out that show an increased link between fluoridated water and bone structure issues, like hip fractures – which tend to happen in older people.
If fluoride is regularly used in large quantities (2 parts per million (PPM)) over time, it can poison the body, leading to discolored teeth. In concentrations of 8 ppm it can be a contributing factor to bone disorders, kidney, liver and adrenal failure, as well as issues with the heart, reproductive system and central nervous system. As with most things, young children and the elderly are particularly susceptible.
For many years it was thought that ingestion of fluoride – that is swallowing fluoridated water and processing the fluoride through the digestive system – was the most effective way of maintaining dental and osseous fluoride levels. A report published by the CDC in 1999 said their research suggested that fluoride works topically, from being applied directly to the teeth. Similar results have been brought forward by articles in the British Medial Journal (2007) and by the National Research Council (2006). So, if the benefit to the body is topical rather than systemic, why is it still added to our drinking water?
The fluoride in toothpaste is applied to the teeth during brushing.