Fluoride in the Water – Does it Really Help Prevent Cavities?

Do you use fluoride toothpaste or drink tap water with fluoride in it? Does your dentist recommend fluoride treatments for your children when they have dental checkups? These common practices are what many people do and accept as a method of “preventative” dental care.  Ever since I was a child, the concept of having fluoride in my toothpaste and water to keep cavities away has been hammered into my head. However, fluoride is not only unnecessary, it is not a nutrient; it is in fact, a harmful chemical.

Here’s why:

In November of 2008, the Journal of the American Dental Association made the following statement based on the systematic review of fluoride supplement research: “There is weak and inconsistent evidence that the use of fluoride supplements prevents dental caries [cavities] in primary teeth.” Yet for some reason, dentists persist in trying to convince parents to allow them to apply fluoride treatments to their children (I know, I’m one of those parents!).

According to Midwestern Integrative Dentistry (Dr. Philip P. Sukel) the whole theory of fluoride being necessary to maintain dental health was never founded on hard scientific research. Instead, its push to be used in the prevention of dental caries has primarily been driven by financial interests and efforts to cover up gross errors made on endorsing its use.  Dr. Sukel’s assertion that even if a certain amount of fluoride were useful to the human body, receiving more of the chemical doesn’t make it more beneficial is definitely worth considering.

During the time period between 1990 and 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association published three separate reports which connected an increase in the rates of hip fractures to the consumption of water containing fluoride. The March 22, 1990 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine contained information from the Mayo Clinic stating that patients with osteoporosis who received fluoride treatment experienced an increase of hip fracture and bone weakening.

In a  2007, a statement was issued on the CDC web site (that received no media coverage) to warn the public about the following information:

“It now appears that the amount of the fluoride contained in the water used for mixing infant formula may influence a child’s risk for developing enamel fluorosis, particularly if the child’s sole source of nutrition is from reconstituted formula.”

“If tap water is fluoridated or has substantial natural fluoride (0.7 mg/L or higher), a parent may consider using a low-fluoride alternative water source. Bottled water known to be low in fluoride is labeled as purified deionized, de-mineralized, distilled, or prepared by reverse osmosis.”

“Using only water with low fluoride levels to mix formula will not eliminate the risk of enamel fluorisis…other factors that contribute to developing fluorisis include swallowing of toothpastse and use of dietary supplements that include fluoride (tablets or drops).”

And yet, how many medical or dental professionals are inclined to outwardly admit that fluoride is not only unnecessary but dangerous to your health? I’m betting most people hear just the opposite from their practitioners; that fluoride is still considered a necessary element toward wiping out tooth decay.

From the book titled Fluoride, The Aging Factor by Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, (1993) we learn how the consumption of fluoride destroys enzymes in the body and leads to a variety of diseases. Fluoride levels as low as 1 ppm cause the destruction of 30 percent of collagen – the most abundant protein in the body. It also causes irregular formation of collagen which provides major structural support to body components such as teeth, bone, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons and and skin. Some side effects listed in the The United States Pharmacopoeia of drinking 1 to 2 pints daily of fluoridated tap water are as follows: stomach distress and cramps including nausea, faintness, bloody vomit, constipation, tremors, aching bones, stiffness, skin rash, weight loss, and brown or black discoloration of the teeth. The 1991 Physicians’ Desk Reference lists some of the same side effects from administered doses of fluoride.

Fluoride interferes with bonds responsible for maintenance of normal shape of proteins. When the protein becomes mutated, the immune system attacks it, and therefore, causes damage to the body’s own tissue and cells.

Fluoride (at 1 ppm) in drinking water has been reported to do the following:

  1. Damages the immune system by inhibiting the migration rate of white blood cells to infected areas;
  2. Interferes with phagocytosis (the destruction of bacteria and other foreign agents by white blood cells); and
  3. Induces the release of superoxide free radicals in resting white blood cells.

Because of this fluoride-induced situation, the body is subjected to foreign substances longer and also causes release of free radicals (which cause cancer and other diseases), and further accelerates the aging process.

Damage to the environment and health

One of the many examples of fluoride harming life is the incidence on August 25, 1961 where W.S. Meader and his wife May (near Pocatello, Idaho) took judgment through the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, against Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation for the amount of $57, 295.80 and against J.R. Simplot Corporation for $4,246.41. These corporations’ factories produced fluoride as a by-product in the form of both gaseous and solid compounds. The Meader trout farm and fish hatchery sustained serious damage from these substances. The fish eggs were described by court record as “worthless” and did not hatch normally. Furthermore, the fish that did successfully hatch were reported to have mutations. The owners of the hatchery removed about a ton of dead fish daily for a period of time. Levels of fluoride taken from water samples in the hatchery were between 0.5 and 4.7 ppm, which is the same as concentrations existing in food and beverages consumed by humans all over the country. In the end, the hatchery experienced a loss of business and livelihood.

The only fluoride naturally occurring in water is calcium fluoride, yet that type of fluoride is not used in fluoridation. The majority of what is used in municipal water systems is silicofluorides – these contain 85 times more toxins than calcium fluoride. These substances are pollution by-products of large corporations, do not biodegrade, and are considered hazardous waste products.

Cost of neutralizing these toxic substances to corporation? Per gallon, $1.40 – possibly higher if other toxic substances are present such as  uranium, lead, arsenic, and cadmium – at the highest-rated hazardous waste facility. These substances are purchased by cities and are then dumped into the water supply.  Silicofluorides contain toxic levels of those substances that are nearly as high as arsenic, and are more toxic than lead.

Recent reports from the EPA have stated that lowering levels of lead and arsenic within the water system are at a critical all-time high, and they would ideally like to see levels at zero parts per million. Given the toxic nature of silicofluorides (which contain arsenic and lead), it is absolutely inconceivable that anyone would pass recommendations to add them to our water supply.

The 2007 CDC information release caused some controversy within thinking health communities, and Paul Beeber, attorney and President of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation asked an important question, “Where’s the media alert so that the parents, caregivers, healthcare workers and legislators know about this?” Beeber has been one of the most vocal opponents of water and supplement fluoridation.

“Americans are unaware that their arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome or other symptoms may be fluoride-related,” he said. “This information should be heeded by physicians and members of the medical and scientific communities.

“So there is no good reason to swallow fluoride via supplements or the water supply. Further, fluoride is neither a nutrient nor required for healthy teeth. Poor diets decay teeth and fluoride won’t stop that, ” Beeber said.

Various European countries have already eliminated fluoride from municipal water supplies: France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Italy.

What’s the solution?

Write to your state representatives and legislature and oppose fluoride in drinking water. Find out which politicians support non-fluoridation measures and those who are in favor of fluoridation, and keep sending correspondence. Don’t sign petitions in your local area advocating the adding of fluoride to your water system. Tell all your friends, family, and neighbors about the dangers of fluoridation in water.

At the dentist, decline to have fluoride treatments for your children. Although your dentist will surely try to talk you into it, resist anyway.

Use non-fluoridated toothpaste (read lables) or make your own.

Educate yourself on the ways to keep good dental health by following a diet that supports teeth and bone health. Research states that good nutrition prevents dental decay and bone problems.  In fact, studies of the diets of indigenous peoples around the world who eat traditional diets (research of Dr. Weston A. Price) have proven that dental and many other health issues are virtually non-existent when eating nutrionally-dense foods such as fish, eggs, butter, shellfish and organ meats.

Purchase a good quality filtration system for your home and don’t drink tap water. Some good quality brands include GE SmartWater filtration systems, Kangen Water, and visit Heart Spring for good general information about water filtration products.

After analyzing foods consumed by isolated primitive peoples, Dr. Price discovered that they provided at least four times the calcium and other minerals, and at least TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins from animal foods originating from animals raised naturally. This was in contrast with the processed, additive-filled diet of Western citizens in developed countries who experienced heightened levels of dental issues including decay, malformation, and bone malstructure and loss. His record of detailing the extreme deterioration both physical and dental health of people who went from nutritionally-dense foods to processed foods is both startling and eye-opening.

Consider the amount of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar consumed by the average citizen living in a developed country in the modern age. As technology continues to advance, more products are invented and the availability of products becomes more prevalent and widespread, we are exposed to more and more sugar than ever before in history.

Although overall sugar consumption has increased, the consumption of  real sugar has steadily declined over the years due to the advent of artificial sweeteners – and subsequently, we consume more of those – high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, glucose, dextrose, fructose, aspartame, and saccharin has gone up. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, consumption of available calories from all forms of added sugars increased 17 percent from 1970 to 2006. When you consider just how much we consume, it is no wonder we have such high rates of tooth decay. The presence of fluoride does not affect this number.

Take the challenge to improve your diet which will have a profound effect on your health and your teeth. Read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price and learn about how you can take charge of your future and live a healthier life.

You may believe you have a healthy diet, and perhaps you do, but ask yourself the following questions about your diet and then go from there. Do you consume:

  • Processed foods
  • Sugary beverages
  • Foods with artificial sweeteners
  • Foods with refined sugars

If you are in the habit of consuming these types of foods regularly, ask yourself if you can replace them with the following:

  • Grass-fed meats from healthy animals raised without chemicals and additives, antibiotics and hormones
  • Pasture-raised poultry and eggs
  • Real milk and other dairy from pasture-raised cows (raw is a plus!)
  • Organic produce (fruits and vegetables)
  • Sprouted, organic whole grains from non-GMO sources
  • Real, whole fats like butter, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, tallow, fish oil, and cod liver oil
  • Fermented foods such as real yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, natto, kombucha, or lacto-fermented vegetables

When you include real, nutrient dense foods in your diet, you will experience a decline in tooth decay and better health.

For more information about this topic, visit the Fluoride Alert web site and read the 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation.

Recommended reading on the subject of eliminating tooth decay naturally: (Rami Nagel) Cure Tooth Decay; Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition

This article is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival. Please visit the other great real food posts there.

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11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Great article, Raine! I think the danger associated with fluoride is something that many people are unaware of. Fluoridated water is an insult to our intelligence and our freedom to make choices on our own!

  2. 2

    pamelaknits said,

    I am so GLAD we have some of the best deep well water to be had in our parts.
    We had it tested years ago for iron levels, etc.. but not until recently did we have
    a complete testing done. Our water passed with flying colors – absolutely nothing
    wrong with it. And ……………..it’s FLUORIDE FREE!

  3. 3

    AS said,

    Fluoride in the water is just one example among thousands and thousands of some process or product that people have been convinced into using and are told it is good for their health, when in reality it is harmful and a pollutant. It’s really amazing how some concept or idea will originate somewhere and people get the notion that it is the thing to do, but then when evidence comes out that this thing is actually harmful to the general population, it’s almost impossible to get change implemented to stop using it. Fluoride is exactly like that. People have used it for so long, and it has been propagated by corporate and government interests to the point that all the major funding going toward proof that it’s acceptable to use is the majority of what you will find available. It’s also another example of some toxic by-product (not unlike vegetable oils) big companies have found they can turn a profit by “proving” that it’s necessary and marketing it as a “health” product. If you research the “proof” as to why fluoride is deemed so important, virtually every study you will find is funded by some entity making a profit from its sale. Sad. And yes, and insult to our intelligence.

  4. 4

    John said,

    We have fluoride in our water – the medical officer of health tells us we should. Like sheep led by the nose we are supposed to take his advice and its insulting to even question him. However I do not drink it, have found beer with no fluoride, have no fluoride in tooth paste. I wish our council had the guts to stop putting this in our water, but they cop out – in spite of a huge amount of info they are waiting for health Canada to report back to them on this. That`s a waste of time – I could tell them what the report will say – the stuff is good – listen to your medical officer of health. He has no expertise in this, but do as he says. NO THANKS. Its all a big scam – a $10 billion scam. By the way my dog gets sick when he drinks fluoridated water.

  5. 5

    I hope this becomes more common knowledge soon, thanks for the overview. We’ve been avoiding fluoride for 6 years now, after 20 years of having it drilled into my head that ‘my teeth will rot right out!’ if I didn’t have enough fluoride. I recently switched to tooth soap and am working on remineralizing my teeth. I hope that with a good diet my children can avoid the dentist (and his harsh treatments and x-rays!) completely.

  6. 6

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