Friday, December 7, 2012

Is Fluoride Harmful to My Health?

Last year, new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prompted many Americans to question the health benefits of fluoride. Despite raising a few eyebrows, the research did not uncover anything that would link significant health risks to fluoride.

It seems the CDC concluded that 2 out of 5 adolescents developed streaks or spottiness on their teeth, caused by ingesting too much fluoride. In rare, extreme cases, some young teens even experienced pitting on their tooth surface, but these cases were so mild that they were only detectable by a dentist. This most likely occurred not from routine dental procedures, but by ingesting fluoride from other sources - namely, drinking water. Most water supplies in the U.S. are fluoridated, which means they are purposefully treated with fluoride.

Fluoride is a compound of the element fluorine, which is found universally throughout nature. You won't just find it in water; it's also in soil, air and in most foods. Fluoride is absorbed easily into the tooth enamel, especially in children's growing teeth. Once the child's teeth are developed, fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes re-mineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is visible.

While ingesting too much of anything can cause adverse reactions, it is extremely rare to experience any health issues related to fluoride. Dental fluorosis is the most common affliction associated with excessive fluoride intake (note the keyword here is EXCESSIVE). Dental fluorosis is characterized by mottled, chalky white or brown appearance on the teeth.

It has been theorized that, over many years, too much fluoride can lead to other health problems, but many of these reports are unfounded. The highly reputable organizations in our country such as the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry continue to recommend fluoride, especially for children.

If you take it upon yourself to research this topic, make sure you are careful about where you get your information. Your best resource is to ask Dr. Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry.  Give us a call today to learn more or to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548

News Sources:

MSN Healthy Living - A Little Fluoride Goes a Long Way
CBS News- Fluoride is Good For You, We Mean Bad for You

Related Post:

Does Bottled Water Contain Fluoride?

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