Is adding fluoride to public drinking water a good thing? For many, the answer seems obvious: Yes. Television commercials, oral hygiene products, and even traditional dentists actively endorse fluoride as a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay. Many are surprised to learn, however, that there is no clinical evidence to support such a claim. The tide is beginning to turn, and communities across America are putting an end to water fluoridation programs that are not only a danger to residents, but also an unnecessary cost to the municipality.
There is still a strong pro-fluoride lobby, however, that aims to keep the potentially toxic mineral in public water. Proponents of public water fluoridation contend that the mineral promotes oral health by strengthening tooth enamel. Those who are opposed to water fluoridation know better, citing an overwhelming amount of evidence from numerous international studies that indicates fluoride may have a profoundly negative impact on mental, physical, and emotional health.
In fact, the dangers of ingesting fluoride have been documented since as early as the mid 1970s. In 1976, Dr. Richard D. Sauerheber published a study that detailed the shocking side effects of overexposure to fluoridated water. In his paper, “On the Toxicity of Fluoridated Water,” Dr. Sauerheber writes:
“‘Low level fluoridation of municipal water exhibits well known alterations in teeth and bone structure and calcification of tendons and ligaments. ‘Moderate’ doses cause spinal deformities and increased hip fracture tendency and kidney and gall stones. Higher levels cause death and are responsible for its major industrial use as a rodenticide.” (i)
Dr. Sauerheber is not the only professional who has issued a warning against fluoride consumption. In 1980, the National Kidney Foundation warned individuals with kidney disease to avoid fluoridated water as impaired kidney function could lead to a toxic level of fluoride accumulation in the body. In 1990, Dr. Jennifer Luke produced research that showed fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland, causing chemical imbalances that can trigger the early onset of puberty as well as sleep disorders. Most recently, the Wall Street Journal reported in early 2012 that an estimated 41% of American children have developed fluorosis due to fluoride overexposure.
Despite a growing body of evidence illustrating the serious side effects of fluoride consumption, the pro-fluoride lobby pushes on, implementing deceptive methods of misinformation to persuade Americans that fluoride is critical in preventing tooth decay.
Pro-Fluoride Lobby Misleads Citizens of Wichita About Fluoride Dangers
The citizens of Wichita, Kansas, experienced the power and deception of the pro-fluoride lobby firsthand in the fall of 2012. Until that time, the residents of Wichita had voted to keep fluoride out of public water on several occasions since the 1970s. To the residents’ dismay, pro-fluoride groups like the ADA, PEW, and Delta Dental lobbied to have City Council re-evaluate the city’s stance on fluoride. City Council eventually gave in, asking residents to once again vote on whether or not fluoride should be added to the community’s water supply.
In the months leading up to the vote, a series of pro-fluoride newspaper articles and reports began circulating throughout the community, presenting misleading information about the safety of fluoride. Most deceptive was an article in the local paper, Wichita Eagle. In it, the paper provided coverage of a peer review research paper published by the Harvard School of Public Health. In the Harvard publication, researchers expressed concern that fluoride ingestion could adversely affect brain health and even lower IQ in children. The Eagle urged Wichita residents to ignore the Harvard study, explaining:
“Harvard university scientists say Wichita voters shouldn’t depend on a research study they compiled to decide whether to put fluoride in the city’s drinking water to fight tooth decay.” (ii)
Of course, the Harvard team made no such remarks. Lead scientist, Dr. Philippe Grandjean, responded by condemning the pro-fluoride slant of the newspaper article, criticizing the Eagle for deceiving readers into thinking that the Harvard team had explicitly asked that their research findings be ignored. In reality, it was quite the opposite. According to the research team, fluoride’s ability to produce “chemical brain drain” is an issue that “definitely deserves concern,” (iii).
Making an Informed Decision
Fluoride is a non-essential nutrient that is not needed for a single biological process in the human body. Several studies indicate that the mineral can be toxic when ingested in large amounts, accumulating in the Pineal Gland, kidneys, and other vital body organs. This health report has been created to help individuals better understand the misinformation surrounding the topics of fluoride, fluoridated water, tooth decay, and overall health.
To learn more about fluoride, fluoride toxicity, and the benefits of fluoride-free dentistry, readers are invited to browse water fluoridation articles on the Miami Dentist Blog.
This special health report has been produced by Assure a Smile, South Florida’s Home of Holistic Dentistry. For more information, readers are invited to visit the URLs in the Sources section below. Readers may also schedule an appointment with a Miami dentist online, or call our front desk directly at 305-274-0047.
(i) Sauerheber, Richard D. Ph.D. “On the Toxicity of Fluoridated Water.” Nofluoride.com. Accessed 19 March 2013.
(ii) “Harvard Scientists: Data on fluoride, IQ not Applicable in U.S.” The Wichita Eagle. Accessed 19 March 2013.
(iii) “Chemical Brain Drain.” Accessed 19 March 2013.
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