By Dr. Mercola
A new study has found that the protective shield fluoride forms on teeth is up to 100 times thinner than previously believed. This raises questions about how this renowned cavity-fighter really works.
It has long been believed that fluoride changes the main mineral in tooth enamel, hydroxyapatite, into a more-decay resistant material called fluorapatite. But the new research found that the fluorapatite layer formed in this way is only 6 nanometers thick -- meaning it would take almost 10,000 such layers to span the width of a human hair. According to Science Daily:
"The scientists question whether a layer so thin, which is quickly worn away by ordinary chewing, really can shield teeth from decay".
Another new study shows that exposure to fluoride may lower children's intelligence. In addition to toothpaste, fluoride is added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies. PR Newswire reports:
"About 28 percent of the children in the low-fluoride area scored as bright, normal or higher intelligence compared to only 8 percent in the 'high' fluoride area ... in the high-fluoride city, 15 percent had scores indicating mental retardation and only 6 percent in the low-fluoride city."
Fluoride is a potent neurotoxin that's been fraudulently promoted as a cure for cavities for the past five decades. Finally, we're beginning to see the kind of research needed to hopefully reverse this great injustice…
The two recent scientific developments above deserve special notice as together they offer a compelling picture of the truth. Not only do we now have yet another study showing that fluoridated water has a significant impact on children's IQ, but researchers have also discovered that the benefits of topical application of fluoride is highly questionable.
Folks, there are FAR better options for decreasing tooth decay than using a topical poison or ingesting a harmful industrial pollutant.
Fluoride Does Not Make Your Teeth More Resistant to Decay
According to Science Daily, Americans spend a staggering $50 billion a year on the treatment of cavities. Fluoride, long heralded as the answer to decaying teeth, can be found in a vast assortment of toothpastes, mouthwashes and professionally applied fluoride treatments. It's even added to your drinking water for this purpose.
Now, a groundbreaking study published in the journal Langmuir has uncovered that the fluorapatite layer formed on your teeth from fluoride is a mere six nanometers thick. To understand just how thin this is, you'd need 10,000 of these layers to get the width of a strand of your hair! Scientists now question whether this ultra-thin layer can actually protect your enamel and provide any discernible benefit, considering the fact that it is quickly eliminated by simple chewing.
An Even Bigger Issue: Water Fluoridation
The conventional wisdom has been that topical application of fluoride can help strengthen your enamel and help prevent decay. If that's untrue, then the case against water fluoridation—the ingestion of fluoride—becomes even stronger than it ever was before.
There's just no doubt that ingesting fluoride has no beneficial effect on your teeth. In fact, there's overwhelming evidence indicating that fluoride is a potent toxin that can cause a wide array of severe health problems once ingested.
When evaluating the issue of water fluoridation it is also important to understand that fluoride is a drug. You can't get fluoride without a prescription. Yet it's being added to your water supply on a mandatory basis at various levels that may or may not be safe for various individuals, especially children, the sick, and the elderly. Water fluoridation is a major assault on your freedom of choice – to be drugged or not.
Sodium fluoride, which is a far simpler toxin than the fluoride compounds used for most water fluoridation, has also been used for rat and cockroach poisons, so there is no question that it is highly toxic.
Amazingly, the United States is only one of eight countries in the entire developed world that fluoridates more than 50 percent of its water supply. (The other seven are: Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.) In Europe, Ireland is the only country that fluoridates more than 50 percent of its drinking water, and England fluoridates 10 percent. Most of mainland Europe is not fluoridated, and yet, according to World Health Organization data, their teeth are just as good, if not better than Americans'.
Studies Link Water Fluoridation to Reduced IQ in Children
The latest study linking water fluoridation to lowered IQ was announced in a December 21 news release. However, this study was recently withdrawn from publication according to Jane Schroeder (NIH/NIEHS). In an email response she explained the reason for the withdrawal as follows:
"Following Ahead of Print publication EHP learned that many of the data had been published in a previous paper (Xiang et al. 2003. Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children's intelligence. Fluoride 36: 84-94), in violation of EHP¹s policy regarding the use of previously published material in original Research Articles. Consequently, the paper had to be withdrawn from publication."
That said, the data published in 2003 still stands and is still valid. Dr. Connett has also stated that his comments still stand.
According to Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network:
"This is the 24th study that has found this association, but this study is stronger than the rest because the authors have controlled for key confounding variables and in addition to correlating lowered IQ with levels of fluoride in the water, the authors found a correlation between lowered IQ and fluoride levels in children's blood.
This brings us closer to a cause and effect relationship between fluoride exposure and brain damage in children.
What is also striking is that the levels of the fluoride in the community where the lowered IQs were recorded were lower than the EPA's so-called 'safe' drinking water standard for fluoride of 4 ppm and far too close for comfort to the levels used in artificial fluoridation programs (0.7 – 1.2 ppm)."
Trained as a chemist specializing in environmental chemistry, Dr. Connett is known throughout the world as a leader in the movement opposing water fluoridation because of his knowledge base. His organization, the Fluoride Action Network, contains a wealth of information on this topic.
Earlier this year I joined forces with Connett to publicize his game plan to end water fluoridation in Canada and the United States. I'll review it again at the end of this article.
In December 2010, a second study reporting an association with exposure to fluoride and lowered IQ in children was pre-published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.
According to the authors, "our study suggested that low levels of fluoride exposure in drinking water had negative effects on children's intelligence and dental health and confirmed the dose–response relationships between urine fluoride and IQ scores as well as dental fluorosis."
This study indicates a 5 point lowering in IQ as the fluoride level in drinking water went from about 0.3 ppm to 3.0 ppm.
Fluoride has Been Repeatedly Linked to Brain Damage
In addition to this study, there are 43 out of 50 human studies showed reduced IQ levels in children from four countries (Mexico, Iran, India and China) after being exposed to high levels of fluoride.
According to Dr. Connett, there are also more than 100 animal studies linking fluoride to brain damage, spanning all the way back to 1941. Unfortunately, most of the IQ studies have been unavailable in English, which is why the 2006 fluoride report created by the National Research Council of the National Academies contained only five of the available studies.
Still, while reviewing just 20 percent of the evidence, the panel concluded that there was a consistent and plausible link between fluoride exposure and reduced IQ. The news release quotes Tara Blank, Ph.D., the Science and Health Officer for the Fluoride Action Network as saying:
"Millions of American children are being exposed unnecessarily to this neurotoxin on a daily basis. Who in their right mind would risk lowering their child's intelligence in order to reduce a small amount of tooth decay, for which the evidence is very weak."
According to Dr. Connett, the newest studies show that over 40 percent of American children are overexposed to fluoride. How can we know? Because they have the telltale sign of dental fluorosis. In its mildest form, dental fluorosis looks like little white specks on your teeth. But as it gets more serious, it begins affecting more of the surface of your teeth, creating yellow, brown and orange mottling.
Promoters of fluoridation scoff at these signs, saying that they're "just cosmetic."
But, since we already know that water fluoridation does NOT effectively reduce dental caries, this is an unnecessary cosmetic defect, and, worse yet, it is a worrisome indication that your body has been overexposed to fluoride. If it's having a detrimental, visual effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it's also damaging something else inside your body, such as your bones.
Other Fluoride-Induced Health Problems
In fact, fluoride will accumulate in your body and can, over time, lead to far more serious health concerns. There are plenty of studies showing the dangers of fluoride to your health—besides dental fluorosis—such as:
Parents Beware: Never Use Fluoridated Tap Water when Making Infant Formula
Most of the people who are educated about fluoride will avoid drinking municipal tap water that is fluoridated, and a reverse osmosis system is about the only way to rid your water of fluoride. However, there are many who simply don't have the resources or the know-how to protect themselves and their young children. In November of 2006, the American Dental Association (ADA) sent out an email to alert its members of their recommendation to parents to not use fluoridated tap water to make infant formula. A few days later, the CDC followed suit.
But neither of them openly informed the public!
So millions of parents are still using tap water to make up formula, oblivious of the fact that the agencies that promote fluoridation in this country have issued a specific warning against using fluoridated water for this purpose. Not only that, but by fluoridating the municipal water supply, you doom many low income families to fail to protect their young children from this dangerous drug, even if they have this information.
What's the REAL Cause of Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is caused by acids in your mouth, typically created from sugar being metabolized by bacteria (Streptococcus mutans), and as you may already know, the number one source of calories in the United States is high fructose corn syrup.
The acid produced then attacks your enamel. Eventually the bacteria can get into the dentine, at which point tooth decay sets in. You typically don't find dental caries in more primitive societies that do not consume these vast amounts of sugar. So, the real answer lies in your diet. Avoid excessive sugar consumption, and your dental health will improve along with the rest of your body.
How You Can Help End Water Fluoridation in Canada and the United States
The Fluoride Action Network is an absolutely phenomenal resource for further education, and they're doing much to pressure the US government for change.
Later this year we plan on developing a massive social networking initiative to form local groups in which you can work on removing fluoride in your local community. We will have access to online tools that will help you replicate success other Canadian and American municipalities have had in removing fluoride.
Until then if you are a professional you can sign FAN's statement calling for an end to fluoridation worldwide now been signed by more than 3,230 professionals. We encourage all medical and science professionals to sign this statement.
Our fluoride initiative will largely focus on Canada, because 60 percent of Canada is already non-fluoridated. If we can get the rest of Canada to stop fluoridating their water, we believe the U.S. will be forced to follow. If you live in Ontario, Canada, please join the ongoing effort by contacting Diane Sprules at firstname.lastname@example.org. The point-of-contact for Toronto is Aliss Terpstra. You may email her at email@example.com.
We're also going to address the two US communities: Austin, Texas and San Diego, California. If you live in Austin, Texas, you can join the effort by contacting Rae Nadler-Olenick at either: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or by regular mail or telephone:
Austin, Texas 78713
Phone: (512) 371-3786
If you're in San Diego, California, contact Patty Ducey-Brooks, publisher of the Presidio Sentinel at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Additionally, New York City council member Peter Vallone, Jr. introduced legislation on January 18 "prohibiting the addition of fluoride to the water supply" in New York City. The ensuing debate alone could have major significance for our efforts in the US, considering that NYC is the nation's largest city.
Therefore, New York City is now also on our list of targeted cities in North America. The point person for this area is Carol Kopf, at the New York Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF). Email her at NYSCOF@aol.com . Please contact her if you're interested in helping with this effort.
In addition, we're willing to support any credible activist for this cause, who is scientifically based and grounded, regardless of where you live in the US. We can provide resources to help support you in your effort to eliminate fluoride from your local community – and it really needs to be a community battle.
We're not going to be able to pass a federal law against fluoridation. There is not going to be a Presidential mandate or even a State-wide elimination. This change will occur one community at a time.
So please, get informed; stay involved. In addition to the Fluoride Action Network, you can find a wealth of scientific literature at this link. I also highly recommend getting a copy of Dr. Connett's new book, The Case Against Fluoride to learn more.