The CDC reports that around 40% percent of Americans have dental fluorosis, a condition referring to changes in the appearance of tooth enamel — from chalky-looking lines and splotches to dark staining and pitting — caused by long-term ingestion of fluoride during the time teeth are forming.
The optimal fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay should be 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water (mg/L), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday, down from a accepted previous fluoride level of 0.7 to 1.2 of water mg/L.
The HHS has stated that the newly recommended change is because "Americans now have access to more sources of fluoride, including toothpaste and mouth rinses, than they did when municipal officials first began adding the mineral to water supplies across the United States."
Federal health officials say the new recommended level will maintain the protective benefits of water fluoridation and reduce the occurrence of dental fluorosis.
Should We Be Adding A Drug To Our Public Drinking Water?
As many of us are already aware, we cannot fully control the dose of a drug that is added to the public water supply, so therefore it begs the question, should we be adding a drug of known toxicity to our public water supply at all? Or should we be approaching fluoride intake from the same perspective we do with other drugs?
Dr. Mercola sums it up clearly:
"If a doctor somehow managed to force a patient to take a drug with known toxic effects and failed to inform them of the dosage and frequency, and never monitored their health outcome, they would be medically negligent and liable to legal and medical board action."The theory is that fluoride is added to public drinking water in order to prevent tooth decay, however, fluoride has never been officially approved by the FDA for the prevention of cavities.
The fact is, even with the new lowered acceptable limit of fluoride, we can't control or properly monitor the total amount of fluoride being ingested by the public when we take into account the amount of fluoride people are getting from food, toothpaste, mouth rinses, beverages, etc.
Dental Fluorosis Not The Only Concern With Fluoride Ingestion
It can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and internal organs, including your brain, has been overexposed to fluoride as well.
In other words, if fluoride is having a visually detrimental effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it's also damaging other parts of your body, such as your bones. Skeletal fluorosis, which isn't visible, is very difficult to distinguish from arthritis.
Symptoms indicative of early clinical stage skeletal fluorosis include:
- Burning, prickling, and tingling in your limbs
- Muscle weakness
- Chronic fatigue
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Stiff joints and/or constant pain in your bones; brittle bones; and osteosclerosis
- Calcification of tendons or ligaments of ribs and pelvis
- Osteoporosis in the long bones
Interestingly, both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have noted that there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between developed countries that fluoridate their water and those that do not.
Even more cause for concern comes from a 2006 NRC report which stated for the first time that fluoride is an "endocrine disruptor," which means it has the potential to play havoc with the biology and fate of humans and animals. This is far more significant than severe dental fluorosis.
What Are Your Thoughts?
We want to hear your thoughts about water fluoridation. Do you think that fluoride is safe and effective in the prevention of tooth decay? Do you think that people should have the individual right to choose whether fluoride is added to their water? Share with us in the comment section here.
Comment: How dangerous is fluoride to your health?
The History of Fluoride
Some fifty years after governments began adding fluoride to public water supplies to reduce cavities in children's teeth, declassified documents are shedding new light on the roots of that still-controversial public health measure, revealing a surprising connection between fluoride and the dawning of the nuclear age.
Today, a large percentage of public drinking water in the western world is fluoridated. Many municipalities still resist the practice, disbelieving the government's assurances of safety.
Since the days of World War II, when the U.S. prevailed by building the world's first atomic bomb, public health leaders have maintained that low doses of fluoride are safe for people, and good for children's teeth.
That safety verdict should now be re-examined in the light of hundreds of once-secret WWII documents obtained by Joel Griffiths and Chris Bryson - including declassified papers of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. military group that built the atomic bomb.
Fluoride was the key chemical in atomic bomb production, according to the documents. Massive quantities of fluoride - millions of tons - were essential for the manufacture of bomb-grade uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons throughout the Cold War. One of the most toxic chemicals known, fluoride rapidly emerged as the leading chemical health hazard of the U.S atomic bomb program--both for workers and for nearby communities, the documents reveal.