Many U.S. wines contain fluoride levels that are too high to allow them to be exported to Europe and other countries that have lower fluoride limits than the United States. These wines often contain as much as six parts per million of fluoride, as compared to the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level for fluoride of four parts per million.
The kidneys are believed to be the most important organ in the human body in the fight against long-term fluoride exposure. Healthy adult kidneys are able to excrete about 50 percent of ingested fluoride and are responsible for preventing toxic levels of fluoride from accumulating in the body. However, adults who have kidney disease excrete about 10 to 20 percent of ingested fluoride, which increases their body burden of fluoride and increases their likelihood of fluoride poisoning.
There has been limited research on fluoride’s possible effects on the reproductive system. However, there is recent research that suggests that fluoride can cause toxic effects to human cells, reduce circulating testosterone, reduce the overall fertility rate and alter reproductive hormones. More research is needed to determine what dose of fluoride can cause these effects.
The first half of 2012 saw a major victory in the battle for fluoride-free public drinking water in the United States. In April, city officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, elected not to increase the fluoride content of the community’s water. “We’re going to err on the side of caution,” remarked David Morris, a representative for the Albuquerque Water Authority (i). The decision triggered a ripple effect that stirred debate in neighboring communities, causing public officials and residents alike to reconsider the widely held notion that fluoride is a “healthy.”
Though there is much debate whether fluoride is helpful or harmful, studies have shown that people have hypersensitive reactions to fluoride. As recognized by the Physicians' Desk Reference (1994, 48th Edition, p. 2335-6), these symptoms include gastric distress, headache, joint pain, lethargy, mouth lesions, skin rashes, visual disturbances and weakness. The book also says, “These hypersensitivity reactions usually disappear promptly after discontinuation of the fluoride." Assure a Smile has prepared this research article to spread awareness for fluoride allergy and to provide patients with alternative methods of preventing tooth decay.
According to the Journal of Dental Research (Whitford 1987, 1990), there is enough fluoride in a tube of children's fluoride toothpaste to kill an average-weighing child under the age of 9. Why else would the FDA require the following warning label on fluoride toothpaste? "WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately." The 1984 Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products rates lead’s toxicity at 3-4, while fluoride is rated at 4 (3 = moderately toxic; 4 = very toxic).
A flurry of recent studies has Miami dental professionals—and their patients— concerned with the high concentration of fluoride in everything from tap water to toothpaste. Formerly hailed as an anti-cavity treatment, fluoride has been added to public water supplies since the mid 1900s and reaches an estimated 300 million individuals worldwide (i). Now, however, researchers are linking fluoride exposure with heightened incidence of serious side effects including abnormal brain development and Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s nearly everywhere: in our water, mouth rinses, and now toothpastes. Fluoride has been the go-to chemical for cavity prevention for over 50 years. Now, however, the Center for Disease Control warns that the chemical may be too prevalent. Too much fluoride may lead to serious oral health problems including hidden caries and fluorosis.