The sodium fluoride added to dental products and water supplies may not be not what you think. To most people, fluoride means cavity prevention and oral hygiene. But is this idea fact or fiction?
Sodium fluoride was first added to toothpaste in 1914 as a way to prevent tooth decay. In 1945, the U.S. began fluoridating municipal water supplies.
The idea was that fluoride helped remineralize teeth, making tooth enamel harder, and also inhibited the production of damaging acids by oral bacteria.
Supporters will tell you fluoridation reduced tooth decay, but the facts don't line up. Tooth decay rates have indeed dropped all over the world, but there is no difference between fluoridated areas in the U.S. and areas in Europe where fluoridation is rare.
There are, however, growing concerns about the safety of this "unregulated drug" - a poison more harmful than lead, yet consumed without limit.
The American Dental Association describes fluoride as a "naturally occurring element that prevents tooth decay." But not all fluorides are the same. The naturally occurring element in water is calcium fluoride and is never used in fluoridation.
Sodium fluoride is the ingredient added to dental products and drinking water. The Merck Index states sodium fluoride is used as a poison for cockroaches and rats. It harms humans as well, thus the warning on fluoridated products such as toothpaste:
Ingesting a tiny bit more toothpaste than the pea-sized amount for brushing has been shown to cause gastric problems, including damage to the stomach lining. The amount of fluoride in a tube of toothpaste is enough to kill a nine-year-old child.
An even greater threat is added to our drinking water. This fluoride is not food grade. It is a toxic byproduct from phosphate fertilizer that also contains dangerous heavy metals and arsenic.
Serious health problems linked to fluoride include bone disease (skeletal fluorosis) and increased fracture risk, cancer (bone and bladder), decreased IQ in children, dental fluorosis (irreversible white/brown/yellow spotted and pitted teeth), and thyroid issues.
Using fluoride increases your risk of gum disease and can prevent recovery. The level of fluoridation in toothpaste (1000 ppm) has been shown to cause gum damage and slow the healing process.
Fluoride may also contribute to bone loss in those with periodontitis. Some dentists recommend using fluoride mouthwash to control oral bacteria in periodontitis, but this actually dries and irritates the gums and may increase the risk of losing teeth.
More about avoiding sodium fluoride to heal gum disease
Because fluoride is freely added to our water supply, many other products are fluoridated as a result, including drinks such as juice, carbonated beverages, tea, wine, and beer.
Many processed foods also get a fluoride bath when manufactured in a fluoridated community.
Infant formula mixed with fluoridated tap water is extremely dangerous.
If you use water filters at home, don't assume you are safe from fluoride. Only two filtering methods greatly reduce exposure: activated alumina filters and reverse osmosis filters. A true fluoride water filter will specifically mention fluoride filtration.
Fluoride-free toothpastes and dental rinses are readily available. You may want to consider using an antibacterial dental oil instead of toothpaste to fight bacteria and gum disease. Also say no to fluoride dental treatments or switch to a safer dentist.
To learn more about the dangers of fluoride and how to help eliminate this threat, visit the Fluoride Action Network.
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