My son Chris called me to ask a question. Our grandson had his routine dental check, and was given a clean bill of health. However, that did not stop the dentist from recommending that he have his teeth coated with fluoride, as well as use fluoride toothpaste every day. Chris has heard me rail against letting the kids drink fluoridated water, but he wasn't sure about the fluoride therapies this dentist was recommending. I told him to say no to fluoride. This is why you should too.
First, there's the issue of dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a mineralization disorder of the teeth that causes them to be weak and brittle. The cause is excessive exposure to fluoride. And thanks to dentists like this one, and community water fluoridation, it's becoming very common.
One study, published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, found that dental fluorosis affects an average of between 30-50% of children in fluoridated communities. In its early states, dental fluorosis is impossible to detect. As it progresses, though, you can see it in the form of white spots on the teeth. But dental fluorosis is only the tip of the iceberg.
The teeth are just windows looking into what happens to all of the other bones. As the teeth become weak and damaged, so also do the skeletal bones. The result is often seen in various aches and pains in the bones and joints. All too often these pains are written off as "growing pains," when in fact they are signs of skeletal fluorosis due to fluoride toxicity. Here's what one published study had to say about skeletal fluorosis nearly 20 years ago.
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"Although skeletal fluorosis has been studied intensely in other countries for more than 40 years, virtually no research has been done in the U.S. to determine how many people are afflicted with the earlier stages of the disease, particularly the preclinical stages. Because some of the clinical symptoms mimic arthritis, the first two clinical phases of skeletal fluorosis could be easily misdiagnosed. Even if a doctor is aware of the disease, the early stages are difficult to diagnose."
Signs of skeletal fluorosis include X-ray signs of bone spurs and calcified ligaments and joints. These findings often look exactly like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. But it also can look like ankylosing spondylitis, renal osteodystrophy, osteopetrosis, and Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH). So, all the children and adults diagnosed with these conditions may in fact have chronic fluoride poisoning instead. And wait until you find out how easy it is to get exposed to too much fluoride.
For instance, in three recent studies from India, China, and Tibet, the average daily doses found to cause advanced skeletal fluorosis ranged from 9 mg per day to 12 mg per day. Advanced skeletal fluorosis means that the spine is literally crumbling, and the patient is bent over and permanently crippled.
To put these findings in perspective, the U.S. government has estimated that the daily dose of fluoride in communities with fluoridated water now ranges from 1.6 to 6.6 mg per day. These higher doses are nearly two-thirds of the doses that can cause advanced skeletal fluorosis. Those who get the higher doses are undoubtedly those who see dentists like my grandson's. Other sources consist of processed foods that are made with fluoridated water. So do your best to avoid fluoride. It will eventually cause serious bone problems.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Fisher RL, et al. (1989). Endemic fluorosis with spinal cord compression: A case report and review. Archives of Internal Medicine 149: 697-670.
Heller KE, et al (1997). Dental caries and dental fluorosis at varying water fluoride concentrations. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 57: 136-143.
Hileman B. (1988). Fluoridation of Water: Questions about health risks and benefits remain after more than 40 years. Chemical & Engineering News August 1: 26-42.
Cao J, et al. (2003). Brick tea fluoride as a main source of adult fluorosis. Food and Chemical Toxicology 41: 535-42.