Fluoride is a chemical more commonly known to be added to toothpaste. It has a unique ability to prevent tooth decay. For this reason, fluoride has been widely added to water supplies to improve dental health. However, many people are concerned about the potential harm from excess intake. So is fluoride actually bad for you? This is exactly what we are going to find out more information on here. Does fluoride cause us more harm than good and should we try to avoid it as much as possible.
Fluoride plays a role in the mineralization of your bones and teeth, a process essential for keeping them hard and strong. In fact, about 99% of the body’s fluoride is stored in bones and teeth. Fluoride is also important for preventing dental cavities. This is why it has been added to community water supplies in many countries and is a main ingredient in many of our toothpaste. They say it helps make your bones and teeth stronger, but do we really need all that extra fluoride.
Fluoridated water is a major source of fluoride in many countries. Other sources include groundwater, fluoride supplements, some foods and dental care products. Mainly your everyday use of toothpaste. It has been known that excess intake of fluoride for long periods of time can cause fluorosis. Two main types of fluorosis that exist are dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis is characterized by visual changes in the appearance of your teeth. In mild forms the changes appear as white spots on teeth and are mostly a cosmetic problem. More severe cases are less common but are associated with brown stains and weakened teeth. Children consuming too much fluoride from multiple sources over a period of time have a higher risk of dental fluorosis, since this occurs during the formation of teeth in childhood.
Skeletal fluorosis is a bone disease that involves the accumulation of fluoride in your bones over many years. It is primarily associated with the prolonged consumption of groundwater with high levels of naturally occurring fluoride or added fluoride in some countries. Skeletal fluorosis is a painful disease that may change bone structure in severe cases. It’s particularly common in some regions with a high amount of fluoride in their water systems.
Fluoride has also been connected to a few other health issues, like bone fractures, a higher risk of cancer and impaired brain development. Also, adding fluoride to public drinking water is a decades old and a very controversial practice they say is used to reduce cavities.
As with many other nutrients, fluoride appears to be safe and effective when used and consumed in appropriate amounts. It can help prevent cavities but ingesting it in very large amounts through drinking water may lead to serious health issues. However, this is mainly a problem in countries with naturally high fluoride levels in water. The amount of fluoride is tightly controlled in countries that intentionally add it to drinking water.
As you can see, fluoride does increase added health risks. The intake of too much fluoride can harm your health. It does help with cavities but there are other things aside from fluoride that could do the same, some even better. It is honestly a personal choice to make. But as you can see, fluoride is actually bad for you. There are better alternatives. Like fluoride free toothpaste.