Controversies in Science/Water fluoridation

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(from Controversies in Science)

Points For[edit | edit source]

Science of Fluoridation[edit | edit source]

Adding fluoride to water helps government and individual spending in the long run by reducing the amount of money spent in dental bills and dental care as well as maintaining healthy teeth[1].

Bone Density[edit | edit source]

Studies conducted in the 1960's suggest that fluoride increases bone density and minimizes fractures, thus it was used in human clinical trials in the hopes of preventing osteoporosis. Although trials have confirmed that fluoride does increase bone density it can also decrease bone density of the cortical bone. [2]

Socio-economic status and tooth decay[edit | edit source]

This article measures the dental health of socially deprived children in Scotland. Water fluoridation is suggested to reduce tooth decay. [3].

25% drop in cavities[edit | edit source]

When taking fluoride drops use by children both in fluoride treated and non-treated areas, there was a 25% drop in cavities in fluoride treated areas[4].

Children living in areas with fluoridated water had a mean DMFS of approximately 18% lower than those children living in areas with no water fluoridation.

Fluoridated water is better for your teeth.[edit | edit source]

Fluoride has been shown to improve the re-mineralization of the tooth[5].

Water fluoridation prevents dental caries[edit | edit source]

When fluoridation was stopped in 14 out of 22 analyses, dental caries increased.[6].

After a 10 year span (1993-2003) children were 74% less likely to be subjected to dental decay.[edit | edit source]

Children, ages 5-8, experienced a decrease of dental issues. The amount of cases decreased from 56-27 due to the water fluoridation of the Blue Mountain area and is expected to continue to decrease. [7]

Fluoride withdrawal effects[edit | edit source]

Based on 22 analyses, 14 of which showed an increase in caries in areas where fluoridation was stopped, the authors concluded that caries prevalence increases following withdrawal of water fluoridation. [8]

Decreases dental caries in low socioeconomic children.[edit | edit source]

5 year old children living in poor areas with fluoridated water are less likely to have dental caries than children who live in poor areas without fluoridated water. Water fluoridation in poor areas reduces inequalities in dental health between poor and affluent 5 year old children[9].

Water fluoridation reduces tooth decay.[edit | edit source]

When children in the age group of 5 to 11 are given fluoride in their water, they have 41% less tooth decay.[10]

Helps baby teeth the most[edit | edit source]

Water fluoridation reduces cavities in baby teeth 30-60%. It reduces cavities later on, but to a lesser extent[11].

No increase in hip fractures[edit | edit source]

There is a false belief that fluroide in water makes bones brittle and increases hip fractures. [12].

Helps promote strong bones[edit | edit source]

Fluoride helps stimulate bone sell proliferation which increases mineral deposition in the bones. The correct amount of fluoride in water can help promote the growth of strong and healthy bones.[13]

Points Against[edit | edit source]

Fluoride Causes Abnormal Bone Growth[edit | edit source]

Ingesting fluoride has been shown to cause serious effects on bones in the human body by creating abnormal growths. The make up of bones is also compromised as your body is more ingesting fluoride for a longer amount of time. After ingesting fluoride for long periods, lesions start to present themselves on your bones; these lesions can be looked at as weaker or stronger parts of bone that allow the bone to grow in areas that are not formally known to grow; this creates abnormal growths. “The stages of bone lesions have been characterized by different names, including but not limited to; osteosclerosis, and osteomalacia (NA 2007)[14].”

Health Risks[edit | edit source]

Teeth staining and corrosion. Altering enzymes, necessary for essential processes. Increase in arthritis and osteoporosis; On july 9, 1998 a news reported fluoride poisoned water in Central India, causing severe arthritic damage to millions of individuals.

Hip Fractures: The number of hip fractures doubles when drinking fluoridated water.
Cancer: According to studies conducted in New Jersey Department of Health; a seven percent increase in bone cancer was found in young males.
Infertility: Research suggests, that infertility in women increases with water fluoridation.

Fluoridation of drinking water may cause skeletal degradation[edit | edit source]

Studies in India have shown a positive correlation between skeletal fluorosis and drinking water fluoride levels as low as 1.35 ppm[15]

We Already Have Fewer Cavities[edit | edit source]

Several studies conducted in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities suggested that this method of delivering fluoride may be unnecessary for caries prevention, particularly in the industrialized countries where the caries level has became low [16].

Regardless of the concentration of water fluoridation in different countries, levels of caries has greatly decreased over the past thirty years. This could be attributed to fluoridated toothpastes and different nutritional values in diet [17].

Water Fluoridation is regarded by many as 'Mass Medication'[edit | edit source]

This process is highly controversial – the general population is being medicated without consent. For example, those without dental caries are receiving unneeded fluoride.[18].

Adding fluoride to the water supply does not take into consideration the individual's circumstances such as age, gender,and medical history; and is therefore unethical. Fluoridation is medicating people with an uncontrolled dose and can be hazardous to those who do not require it. For example, infants whose formula was made with fluoridated water are receiving a fluoride dose that is 100 times that of an infant who is breastfed. This mass medication of infants is extremely unethical. [19]

A Decrease in IQ Levels[edit | edit source]

The children's IQ levels decreased by 5 to 10 points when compared to those with high concentrations of fluoride and low concentrations of fluoride[20].

Overtime exposure to fluoride has shown to increase chances of adult tooth loss[edit | edit source]

Across the United States since the 1960's, surveys were conducted country and state wide based on fluoride in the water systems. It has been determined that exposure to fluoride has increased adult tooth loss[21].

Harmful to development of children's teeth[edit | edit source]

In various locations of India children are given fluoride supplements via drops or chewable tablets, causing dental fluorosis. [22].

Larger Amounts of Fluoride in drinking water causes higher risks of bone and hip fractures[edit | edit source]

Chinese populations that were exposed to larger amounts of Fluoride in drinking water (over 4.32 ppm) had higher risks of bone and hip fractures. [23]

High amounts of fluoride in water can lead to contamination and exposure to various products, and is unsafe for Third-World Countries to use fluoride water in crops.[edit | edit source]


The amount of fluoridated water cannot be controlled[edit | edit source]

Since water fluoridation is a form of medication, it will be impossible to control the amount of water consumed by each individual because different people consume different amounts of water daily. This might lead to some health problems [25].

References[edit | edit source]

  3. Jones C.M., Woods K. & Taylor, G.O. (1997). Social deprivation and tooth decay in Scottish schoolchildren. UK Pubmed Central. 55(1), 11-15
  4. Brunelle, J., & Carlos, J. (1990). Recent trends in dental caries in U.S. children and the effect of water fluoridation. Journal of Dental Research, 69, 723-727. Retrieved October 7, 2011, from:
  5. Armfield, JM (2010). Community Effectiveness of Public Water Fluoridation in Reducing Children's Dental Disease. Public health reports (1974) (0033-3549), 125 (5), 655.
  6. Parnell, C., Whelton, H., O’Mullane, D. (2009) Water Fluoridation. European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry // 10 (3).
  7. Evans, RW (12/2009). Water fluoridation in the Blue Mountains reduces risk of tooth decay. Australian dental journal (0045-0421), 54 (4), 368.
  8. Parnell, Whelton, O’Mullane (2009) Water Fluoridation | Oral Health Services Research Centre, University Dental School, Cork, Ireland.
  9. Jane C Riley; Michael A Lennon; Roger P Ellwood. The effect of water fluoridation and social inequalities on dental caries in 5-year-old children. International Journal of Epidemiology, Apr 1, 1999, Vol. 28, Issue 2, p300-306, 7p
  10. Evans RW, Hsiau ACY, Dennison PJ, Patterson A, Jalaludin B. Nov 24, 2009. Water fluoridation in the Blue Mountains reduces risk of tooth decay. Australian Dental Journal Volume 54, Issue 4 pages 368–373. DOI: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2009.01164.x
  11. Newbrun, E. (1989) Effectiveness of water fluoridation. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 49 (5), 279-289
  12. Jacobsen, S., O'Fallon, M., Melitnn J. (1993). Hip Fracture Incidence before and after the Fluoridation of the Public Water Supply, Rochester, Minnesota. American Journal of Public Health, 83 (5), 743-745.
  13. American Dietician Association. (2005). Position of the American Dietetic Association: The Impact of Fluoride on Health. Journal of the American Dietician Association. 1620-1628.
  14. No author., (2007). Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review on the Status and Stress Effects. Taylor and Francis Online, 36, no pgs. Doi: 10.1080/10643380600678112.
  15. Epidemiological, Clinical, and BIochemical Study of Endemic Dental and Skeletal Fluorosis in Punjab Br Med J 1968; 4 doi: 10.1136/bmj.4.5628.427 (Published 16 November 1968)
  16. Pizzo, Giuseppe (07/2007). Community water fluoridation and caries prevention: a critical review. Clinical oral investigations (1432-6981), 11 (3), 189. DOI: 10.1007/s00784-007-0111-6
  17. Cheng, K., Chalmers, I., & Sheldon, T. A. (2007, October 6). Adding fluoride to water supplies. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2007. DOI:10.1136/bmj.39318.562951.BE
  18. Cheng, K., Chalmers, I., & Sheldon, T. A. (2007, October 6). Adding fluoride to water supplies. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2007. DOI:10.1136/bmj.39318.562951.BE from
  19. Diesendorf, Mark. (2004, July). Four Arguments Against the Fluoridation of Water Supplies.
  20. Arsenic and Fluoride Exposure in Drinking Water: Children's IQ and Growth in Shanyin County, Shanxi Province, China. San-Xiang Wang, Zheng-Hui Wang, Xiao-Tian Cheng, Jun Li, Zhi-Ping Sang, Xiang-Dong Zhang, Ling-Ling Han, Xiao-Yan Qiao, Zhao-Ming Wu and Zhi-Quan Wang Environmental Health Perspectives , Vol. 115, No. 4 (Apr., 2007), pp. 643-647
  21. Matthew Neidell, Karin Herzog, and Sherry Glied The Association Between Community Water Fluoridation and Adult Tooth Loss. American Journal of Public Health: October 2010, Vol. 100, No. 10, pp. 1980-1985. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.189555
  22. Dhar, Vineet (2009).Physiology and toxicity of fluoride. Indian journal of dental research (0970-9290), 20 (3), 350
  23. Effect of Long-Term Exposure to Fluoride in DrinkingWater on Risks of Bone Fractures
  24. Fluoride in drinking water and its removal
  25. Connett, P. (2012). 50 REASONS TO OPPOSE FLUORIDATION