From: New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.
Published October 22, 2004 09:11 AM

Excess Fluoride Decays Teeth

Cavities rise significantly with increasing fluoride content of the drinking water, report Wondwossen and colleagues in the October 2004 dental journal, Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.

Of 306 12- to 15-year-old children born and raised in Ethiopian villages with either moderate or high amounts of natural fluoride in their water supplies, 151 had both cavities and fluorosis (fluoride discolored or damaged teeth), many in the same teeth. Only six, from the moderate-fluoride area, had cavities alone.

The moderately fluoridated water supplies contained:

0.4 – 1.4 milligram fluoride per liter of water (mg/L) in 1982 to 1983

0.2 – 1.6 mg/L in 1984 – 1988

0.5 – 1.9 mg/L in 1989 – 1993

0.3 – 2.2 mg/L in 1997

The higher fluoridated water supplies contained from 9 to 14 mg/L over the same time span.

The study was conducted in 1997.

Cavities developed in 45% and 62% of adolescents in moderately and highly fluoridated areas with an average of 1.2 and 1.8 decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth, respectively.

In the U.S., fluoride chemicals get added to water supplies to reach approximately 1 mg/L or 1 part per million. But fluoride content of foods (2), beverages, medicines, dental products and air pollution increase daily fluoride intake to an unknown quantity. This means total fluoride intake can push children into the fluoride danger zone. This may be why many fluoridated U.S. cities face cavity crises today. (3)

Dentist and researcher Hardy Limeback, Head of the Preventive Dentistry Department at the University of Toronto says, “These low water fluoride exposures are typical of what U.S. children experience. The evidence is piling up that our kids can be harmed rather than helped if their fluoride exposure is excessive.”

Lawyer Paul Beeber, President of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation says, “Money is wasted on fluoridation schemes. And, as this study shows, fluoridation can actually cause the disease it promises to prevent. No one knows their children’s total fluoride intake. It remains a mystery number until teeth grow in white spotted, yellow, brown or pitted from too much fluoride.”

Regardless of water fluoride levels, Wondwossen and colleagues report cavity prevalence increased consistently with increasing severity of dental fluorosis in the second molars, first molars and canines.

“…the present findings are consistent with previous studies from Africa,” Wondwossen and colleagues write. “This strongly indicates that, within the levels of moderate and high fluoride concentrations, dental caries experience in the permanent dentition increases significantly with increasing fluoride content of the drinking water,” the authors write.

“Two possible explanations may be offered: First, in more severe forms of dental fluorosis, posteruptive changes lead to the loss of outer enamel or formation of pits in teeth. Plaque and food debris may be retained in these areas, contributing to an increase susceptibility to caries. Secondly, because of the presence of subsurface hypo-mineralization (not enough calcium, phosphates and/or other minerals) , teeth with severe forms of diffuse opacities may be inherently at risk of caries,” the authors write

“Wondwossen concludes, “Thus a positive relationship between dental caries and dental fluorosis was observed across various tooth types in both areas.”

Additional studies linking fluoride to more cavities:


1) Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2004 Oct, “The relationship between dental caries and dental fluorosis in areas with moderate- and high-fluoride drinking water in Ethiopia,” by Wondwossen F, Astrom AN, Bjorvatn K, Bardsen A.

2a) Fluoride in Food 2b) USDA National Fluoride Database of Selected Beverages and Foods 3) Cavity Crises in Fluoridated Cities and States

For more information, contact:

Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD,
Head, Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto
416-979-4828 ext 4461

Paul Beeber, Esq.
President and General Counsel, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.
PO Box 263,
Old Bethpage, NY 11803

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