typically declines 30-50% in communities that start or continue water
Facts on Fluoride see:
Fluoride Facts 9/05
Statement on Water Fluoridation and Bone Cancer
unpublished thesis by a Harvard doctoral student
researcher, reportedly suggesting a link between
fluoridated water and the development of a rare
type of bone cancer in adolescent males, has
been the subject of recent media coverage.
The Harvard School of Dental Medicine has
announced that it will conduct an inquiry into
charges that those findings were misrepresented
by a professor.
ADA is a longtime advocate of fluoridation as a
safe and effective means of preventing tooth
decay. It has been cited by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention as one of 10
great public health achievements of the 20th
century. Studies show that fluoridation can
prevent between 15–40 percent of decay. The ADA
cautions the dental profession, public health
officials and the public against drawing
conclusions based on a lone researcher's
unpublished study. Indeed, the student notes
in her thesis that there are several limitations
to her study and recommends that the findings be
confirmed using data from other studies. For
example, she notes that the study may not
accurately reflect the actual amount of fluoride
consumed by study subjects.
ADA policies on community
water fluoridation are based on the overwhelming
weight of credible scientific evidence. That
evidence stems from extensive scientific
research and has been published in refereed
(peer-reviewed) professional journals that are
widely circulated. The research concludes that
there is no association between cancer rates in
humans and optimal levels of fluoride in
The ADA encourages, supports
and welcomes scientific investigations into
matters pertaining to oral health. It will
continue to monitor this development closely and
if necessary will advise the public and the
dental profession of any steps that we believe
are needed to ensure the public’s safety.
As the leader of a
science-based profession, the ADA is open to new
scientific information and welcomes the
opportunity to address it according to the
standards that prevail in the scientific
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An article in a special supplement to the journal Caries
Research reviews the effects of dentifrices with high fluoride contents
on the management of root caries. Primary root caries lesions
which are a widespread and often serious problem in older
populations, can be difficult to restore. It is generally accepted that
fluoride ions promote remineralization of tooth substances and reduce
the rate of demineralization. The use of a dentifrice with a high
fluoride content may be considered to reverse this condition since more
fluoride is required for the remineralization of roots than for enamel.
Woman Dentist Journal April, 2005; 3(4) Author(s) :
Margaret Scarlett Lynch E, Baysan A.
Reversal of primary root caries using a dentifrice with a high fluoride
content. Caries Res 2001; 35[Suppl 1]:60-64) ]
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Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States:
USDA National Fluoride
of Selected Beverages and Foods - 2004
Does Fluoride Benefit Adults?
HOW DOES FLUORIDE WORK
1) It reduces the
solubility of enamel in the presence of acid.
2) It exerts an effect on
bacterial plaque by reducing their ability to produce acid.
3) It promotes
remineralization of tooth enamel.
WATER FLUORIDATION FOR ADULTS
When fluoride is ingested throughout
life it is incorporated in enamel and dentin as it is formed.
Unfortunately, fluoride daily intake is usually discontinued by age 10.
This is the age pediatricians and dentists feel the crowns of the 2nd
molars have formed. The roots do not get adequate fluoride incorporated
in the dentin matrix. There is a constant ebb and flow between
demineralization and remineralization of exposed teeth. Fluoride
improves the remineralization and prevents the loss of tooth structure
from the effects of the acid produced by the bacterial plaque.
Applying topical fluoride directly to
the erupted teeth allows the penetration of fluoride into the enamel and
exposed dentin. It provides localized protection of teeth not
treated with ingested fluoride and replaces fluoride leaching out of the
tooth surface. Topical fluorides include toothpastes, mouth rinses, and
professionally applied fluoride solutions and gels.
A 1998 study by the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services has shown a dramatic increase in tooth
loss among adults age 35-44. The study shows that 78% of adults
35-44 have at least one tooth lost because of tooth decay. 84.7% over
the age of 18 have at least one area of tooth decay per year. Data from
the 1988-1991 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed
that 6.9% of 18-24 adults and 56% of all adults over the age of 75 have
root decay. As we age, there is a decreased salivary flow, exposed root
surfaces, and poorer home care. This greatly increases our risk
for root decay. There is data that shows individuals who have
consumed fluoridated water continuously from birth have a 31% reduction
in tooth compared to adults with no exposure to water fluoridation.
Adults should have fluoride
treatments to maintain their teeth for a lifetime. Dr. Allan
Monack's article 8/04
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Fluoride: Key to Remineralization
For nearly 60 years, fluoride has been the cornerstone of almost all
caries prevention programs. Here’s how fluoride actually works:
The surface layers of teeth are continually undergoing a process of
demineralization and remineralization brought about by the acid
production of mutans streptococci. If the speed of demineralization
exceeds the speed of remineralization, a carious lesion will eventually
Fluoride plays a significant role in this ongoing process. During
demineralization, the acids diffuse into the tooth, dissolve tooth
mineral and can lead to removal of calcium, phosphate and carbonate from
the tooth. As the acids are buffered by saliva, calcium and phosphate
flow back into the tooth. If fluoride is present in the plaque or
saliva, it combines with the dissolved minerals and forms a new veneer
on the surface of the tooth that is actually more resistant to
subsequent acid attack because it contains more fluoride and less
carbonate. Hence the prevention of caries. Source: Dr. Kathy
Phipps, June/July 2004 Journal of the AZDA,
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Toothpaste Significantly Reduces Childhood Cavities
A review of 50 years of clinical trails (74
studies involving more than 42,000 children under the age of 16)
firmly establishes that in children brushing with toothpaste containing
fluoride results in 24% less cavities than does brushing with non
fluoridated toothpaste. This study conferred:
greater cavity reduction by brushing
twice a day or more with fluorided toothpaste than only once a
brushing with toothpaste containing a higher
concentration of fluoride is associated with greater reduction
fluorided toothpaste with give greater
benefits in those with higher levels of decayed, missing
and filled teeth.
brushing with fluoride toothpaste
provides additional reduction of cavities even if children live in
areas with fluoridated water supplies.
Fluoride Toothpaste Significantly Reduces
Childhood Cavities, pg 44, Dentistry Today 2/03
Fluoride Deemed Effective in Osteoporosis
Fluoride, in combination with calcium and vitamin
D, increases bone mass and lowers the risk of backbone fractures
associated with osteoporosis .
Fluoride is known to stimulate new bone formation, but
concerns about its safety have limited its use in the elderly.
There is no FDA approved drug for osteoporosis that increases bone
Fluoride, calcium, and vitamin D with calcium was
compared with vitamin D alone in the treatment of 85 women aged 65 years
or older who had already experienced one or more backbone fractures from
osteoporosis. The fluoride used was a long-acting form.
Women treated with fluoride saw a 68% reduction of
new or repeat fractures compared with women who did not receive
According to the results, the chance of fractures in
other locations did not differ in the two groups of women, and estrogen
use did not seem to influence the results.
Bone density increased in both treatment groups
without measurable differences between the two.
Women treated with fluoride showed significant
improvements in various measures of bone formation compared with
women not treated with fluoride.
None of the ill effects previously associated with
the use of higher doses of fluoride were seen in these patients.
``Our findings support the use of (long-acting)
sodium fluoride with calcium and (vitamin D) in treating older
ambulatory women with established osteoporosis,'' Rubin and colleagues
SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine 2001;161:2325-2333. (Reuters
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New Fluoride Guidelines
Community water fluoridation is safe and effective
in preventing dental caries in both children and adults.
Dr. William Maas, director of CDC's Divisions of Oral
Health stated that their study will "ensure that every family
members gets fluoride in the right amount, in the right place and at the
"Fluoride is needed throughout the lifespan to
prevent and control tooth decay" said CDC director Dr. J.
Koplan. "Better directed use of fluoride can lead to
considerable savings...without compromising the tremendous advances
we've made in reducing tooth decay.
Our own Nebraskan State Dental Health Director,
Dr. Kimberly K. McFarland, chair of the ADA Council on Access,
Prevention and Interprofessional Relations said "The report
confirms community water fluoridation is a safe, effective and
inexpensive method of preventing tooth decay. It benefits people
in all age groups and of all socioeconomic levels, including those
difficult to reach through other public health programs."
In average water fluoridation cost 72 cents per
person per year, far less than the cost of a filling!
Frequent use of small amounts of fluoride for ALL
Parental monitoring of fluoride
intake for children under the age of six
Fluoride concentration labeling on bottled water
Education of professionals and public about this
For the more on this report: CDC
ADA News Sept. 2001, New Fluoride Guidelines pg 18.
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r011129.htm