Tag Archives: pediatric dentistry

Are you a victim of fluoride toxicity

Are You At Risk of The Dangers of Fluoride Toxicity?

Do you brush your teeth? Have you drank tap water throughout your life? If you answered “YES” to either or both of these, then you could be putting yourself at risk of the dangers of consuming too much fluoride. Why does this matter? Because when you ingest a lot of fluoride it causes a damaging health condition known as fluoride toxicity!

Let’s first take a look at what fluoride is and then the horrible dangers it poses to your health and wellness when over consumed.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral in your teeth and bones and is found naturally in water, soil, pants,  rocks, and air. It is also synthetically produced and added to drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwash, and other chemical products.

When it comes to your health, fluoride is primarily used to “improve” dental care because it is thought to strengthen the enamel of the teeth.

However, the scary truth is that because much of the water supply in the USA is still fluoridated. Plus you get additional exposure from dental products, which means you are most likely overloaded with FLUORIDE!

We’re not talking minor health issues… TOO much fluoride causes a condition known as fluoride toxicity.

What is Fluoride Toxicity?

You have most likely heard about fluoride at some point in your life.

But, how much do you really know about it?

Though there are some potential benefits of fluoride, however regulating the amount of fluoride you consume is crucial. Fluoride occurs both naturally and artificially in water. By the time we account for concentrated, fluoridated dental products and materials, it’s not hard for the average person to unintentionally (or intentionally!) consume too much fluoride:

Fluoride consumed at elevated levels is know to have seriously detrimental effects on the human body.

One of the most alarming conditions that is a result of fluoride toxicity is skeletal fluorosis.

Skeletal Fluorosis: Are You At Risk?

Uncontrolled fluoride consumption’s damaging powers are vast. Health problems associated with fluoride toxicity include bone cancer, brain cell damage, muscle disorders, arthritis, bone fractures, cell death, blood disorders, infertility, and a condition called skeletal fluorosis.

Skeletal fluorosis is a bone disease caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in your bones. The horrifying symptoms of this disease include:

  • Painful damage to your bones and joints
  • Hardened bone with increased frequency of fractures
  • Impaired joint mobility due to  thickening of the bone structure and accumulation of bone tissue.
  • Cartilage and ligaments  become ossified (turn into bone or bony tissue)

Skeletal fluorosis is a crippling, yet preventable, disease. Unfortunately, there are no effective therapeutic remedies available which have the power to cure fluorosis.

Therefore, you must take caution and be absolutely vigilant in monitoring you and your family’s fluoride intake.

The Dangers of Excessive Ingestion (Fluoride Toxicity)

It’s important to note that off-the-shelf oral hygiene products contribute heavily to excessive ingestion of fluoride:

  • In a large data collection effort regarding fluoride poisoning, the American Association of Poison Control (AAPC). determined that toothpaste ingestion was the main source of fluoride toxicity. Other likely culprits are mouthwashes and supplements.
  • Over 80% of the cases of fluoride toxicity reported, were in children under the age of 6. They found children of this age group ingest more toothpaste than pediatric dentists ‘recommend’ because they haven’t completely developed their swallowing reflex.

When consumed in large quantity, fluoride leads to dental fluorosis.

Fluorosis is a dental term that describes the developmental disturbance in regards to the enamel. It is not a disease, but rather a cosmetic condition. The effects of fluoride on tooth enamel include lower mineral content and an increase in porosity.

Fluoride In Water & Are You Drinking Too Much?

There is a plethora of information and research that shows the dangerous side effects of using fluoride. On the other hand, there are very few studies that show any significant benefits from drinking water containing fluoride.

When it comes to dental fluorosis, water fluoridation is an extremely controversial topic. Some view it as a public health measure, while others consider it an example of mass, systemic poisoning.

Fluoridated water accounts for 40% of all dental fluorosis cases, so there is a foundation for this extreme view. We consume these (sometimes) dangerous levels of fluoride via drinking water, children’s formula, or foods prepared with public drinking water.

This is a simple case of “You better be safe than sorry” and keep you and your family safe by avoiding excessive fluoride consumption. Follow these simple safety tips:

  • Drinking filtered and purified water
  • Using a homemade or all natural fluoride free toothpaste
  • Making a fluoride free mouthwash

What To Do About Fluoride Toxicity

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Too much fluoride can damage teeth - are we poisoning our kids?

Too Much Fluoride Causes Damage to the Teeth – How Much Is Too Much?

Spots, specks, stains, dings, and damage.

All of these unsightly dental conditions are a result of being exposed to TOO MUCH fluoride.

Known as fluorosis, this cosmetic condition permanently changes the health of your teeth.  

It should come as no surprise that fluorosis was rarely found in western countries prior to the widespread use of fluoride in the dentist industry.

Dental fluorosis rates have been on the rise for years and have now reached groundbreaking levels. Information collected from a survey by the Center for Disease Control revealed that:

  • 41% of American adolescents have some form of fluorosis.
  • That’s an increase of 400% from just 60 years ago.
  • Dentists continue to push fluoride treatments without properly informing parents of the potential risks
  • Pediatric dentists fail to adequately educate on how to measure and manage the amount of fluoride the child is consuming.

From what it is, to what causes it and how to prevent it, here is absolutely everything you need to know about fluorosis and your teeth.

What Is Fluorosis?

Fluorosis is a dental term that describes the developmental disturbance in regards to the enamel. It is not a disease, but rather a cosmetic condition. Consuming  fluoride is especially concerning during the years when the teeth are developing, typically up to age 8.

The effects of fluoride on tooth enamel include lowering mineral content and an increasing porosity. Typically, the dentist measures the damage by examining the surfaces of the teeth when clean, dry and under good lighting.

If the dentist suspects dental fluorosis, they can further examine your teeth and gums. X-rays are beneficial to make sure the teeth do not have any other defects, like cavities.

Dental fluorosis causes varying degrees of both aesthetic and physical damage to your teeth.

Dental Fluorosis and Discoloration of Teeth

The visual effects of fluorosis dictates the severity and varying degrees of damage:

  • Healthy, Normal Teeth: Appear to have a smooth, glossy surface, that’s typically a pale white color.
  • Moderate Fluorosis: Moderate cases will affect all enamel surfaces of the teeth. The surfaces will show wear as brown staining as the main feature. Teeth can also begin to erode and even crumble.
  • Severe Fluorosis: In severe cases of dental fluorosis, the enamel can become discolored. Stains will develop over time, which is due to diffusion of exogenous icons, such as iron and copper, into the abnormally porous enamel. These stains appear brown and are widespread, making the teeth look corroded. All enamel surfaces are now affected. The general form of the tooth may also be affected.

Dental fluorosis causes something that is called intrinsic discoloration.  

What this means is that the inner structure  of your tooth, the dentin, darkens or gets a yellow tint. These intrinsic stains are much deeper in the tooth and are permanent. It is usually not possible to neutralize or lighten this type of discoloration.

What Causes Fluorosis?

Fluorosis is caused by being exposed to too much fluoride.

Uncontrolled fluoride consumption’s damaging powers are vast. Health problems associated with fluoride include toxicity, bone cancer, brain cell damage, muscle disorders, arthritis, bone fractures, cell death, blood disorders, infertility, and dental fluorosis.

Fluoridated water accounts for 40% of all dental fluorosis cases.

We consume these (sometimes) dangerous levels of fluoride via drinking water, children’s formula, foods prepared with public drinking water, toothpaste, and mouthwash.

How To Prevent Fluorosis

This is a simple case of “You better be safe than sorry” and keep you and your family safe by avoiding fluoride. Follow these simple safety tips:

  • Drinking filtered and purified water
  • Using a homemade or all natural fluoride free toothpaste
  • Making a fluoride free mouthwash

One of the important factors to take into consideration in preventing fluorosis, especially in children, is to monitor fluoride intake.

To prevent excess fluoride exposure in young children:

  • Monitor toothbrushing to make sure not too much toothpaste is used
  • Teach them not to swallow toothpaste
  • Avoid giving them tap water and offer filtered water instead
  • Cut back on drinks that contain fluoride such as fruit juices, bottled water, and soft drinks

Now that you’ve read everything you need to know about fluorosis, there is only one last thing to discuss…

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Fluoride in our tap water - is it safe?

Fluoride In Water Is Harming Your Health

You absolutely can’t miss out on what we are about to share about fluoride in water!

Do you have spots and stains on your teeth

Ever have trouble sleeping at night

Are there an extra few pounds around your middle

Your TAP water could be the culprit…

Read on to discover how fluoride harms your health and teeth and what you can do today to keep you safe.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral in your teeth and bones. It is found naturally in:

  • Water
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Rocks
  • Air

It is also synthetically produced and added to drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwash, and other chemical products.

When it comes to your health, fluoride is primarily used to “improve” dental health because it is thought to strengthen the enamel of the teeth.

However, the scary truth is that because much of the water supply in the USA is still fluoridated. Plus you get additional exposure from toothpaste and other dental products, which means you are most likely being overloaded with FLUORIDE!

Why does this matter? Because it becomes HIGHLY toxic for your body!

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about fluoride in water and how it is potentially harming your health.

Fluoride in Water

Fluoride was added to water shortly after World War II in an attempt to improve dental care, however fluoridation continues to this day.

As with most new health ideas, there was a lot of excitement and focus on only the benefits of fluoride. The risks of regularly consuming it receives little consideration.

Nowadays, there is a plethora of information and research that shows the dangerous side effects of using fluoride – one of the side effects being its negative impact on your overall health and well-being.

One of the top harming effects of fluoride is that it prevents your pineal gland’s ability to function properly. It is located in the center of your brain and responsible for producing melatonin that regulates your sleep cycle.

When fluoride weakens your pineal gland, it can lead to a host of problems, such as:

  • Early aging
  • Sleeping trouble
  • Weight gain.

There are very few studies that show any significant benefits from drinking water containing fluoride. This is surprising considering the potential risks of consuming too much fluoride because of a fluoridated water supply.

Some studies even showed that cities which did not add fluoride to their drinking water had fewer cavities when compared to cities that did. The World Health Organization found that while only 3% of western European countries fluoridate their water, they have the same rate of dental cavities as areas that do not.

This study, and many other with similar results, should make you ponder….

Why are we drinking fluoride in the first place?

We must remind ourselves that fluoride itself is a toxic substance. So why, then, are we exposing ourselves to these toxins intentionally, through our water supply?

The Dangers of Fluoride in Water

Spots, specks, stains, dings, and damage.

All of these unsightly dental conditions are a result of exposure to TOO MUCH fluoride. Known as fluorosis, this cosmetic condition permanently changes the health of your teeth.

It should come as no surprise that dental fluorosis was rarely found in western countries prior to the widespread use of fluoride in the dental industry.

Dental fluorosis rates have been on the rise for years and have now reached groundbreaking levels. Information collected from a survey by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that:

  • 41% of American adolescents have some form of fluorosis.
  • That’s an increase of 400% from just 60 years ago.
  • Dentist offices continue to push fluoride treatments without properly informing parents of the potential risks
  • Dentists  fail to adequately educate on how to measure and manage the amount of fluoride their child is consuming.

Fluoride, fluoride E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E!

So, what can you do to keep you and your family safe? Next, let’s take a closer look at the steps you can start taking TODAY to reduce your fluoride exposure.

Removing Fluoride From Water

If your efforts to petition you city to stop fluoridating your water are unsuccessful, there are steps you can take to remove it. Here are several options to choose from:

  1. Find Another Source: You can get your drinking water from an alternate source. Finding water processed by reverse osmosis or distilled is a good place to start. Your best bet is to choose alkaline or distilled water and AVOID tap water. A quick search of water delivery services in your area will provide options.
  2. Filter Your Own Water:  You can also filter your own water to remove added fluoride. From at-home filtration systems to water filtering pitchers, the market is full of products  that can help you get cleaner drinking water. Again, a quick search of water filtration devices will provide you solutions.

While it is extremely important to have filtered drinking water for yourself, there are even more special considerations to make when you have small children.

Keeping Children Safe

Using fluoride free water is particularly important for us in infant formula and baby food whenever possible.

When using tap water, formula-fed babies are at a higher risk. Even though the risk may be small, using filtered water in baby formula is an easy way to protect your child against dental fluorosis

One study found giving babies formula exposed them to 200X more fluoride than breastfed babies. Pediatrician, Dr. Yolanda White reported the following

“I diagnose dental fluorosis on average 5 times daily, but fluoride doesn’t only affect teeth. It can potentially affect the brain and nervous system, kidneys, bones and other tissues in young children during their critical stages of organ development.”

Now that you have cleaner and safer drinking water, the next step in protecting your health and teeth from overexposure to fluoride it to use healthier dental products.

Fluoride Facts: STOP Harming Your Health

If you are still a little skeptical about whether you need to avoid fluoride or not… here are 3 alarming fluoride facts:

  1. Many developed countries do NOT fluoridate their water: The consumption of water with fluoride is greater in the USA than in the WHOLE rest of the world combined!
  2. Fluoride is the only MEDICINE added to public water: Because it is added to water to prevent a tooth decay (a disease), it is considered a medicine by the Food and Drug Administration.
  3. Fluoride is NOT an essential nutrient: Need we say more?
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Fluorosis - Protecting Our Children From The Dangers of Fluoride

Fluorosis – Protecting Our Children

For decades dentists have informed us that our children need fluoride to shield their teeth from cavities. The fact is, fluoride is completely toxic. When consumed in high concentrations, fluoride causes dental fluorosis.

In 1997, Dr. John Colquhoun stated, “Common sense should tell us that if a poison circulating in a child’s body can damage the tooth-forming cells then other harm also is likely.” (Lindsay, 2006).

What causes fluorosis?

Fluorosis is a dental term that describes the developmental disturbance in regards to the enamel. It is not a disease, but rather a cosmetic condition. As previously mentioned, exposure to high concentrations of fluoride causes fluorosis, especially during the years when the teeth are developing, typically up to age 8.

Luckily, once the teeth break through the gums they’re no longer susceptible to dental fluorosis. Unfortunately, that’s of little comfort to those already suffering from its effects.

The effects of fluoride on tooth enamel include lower mineral content and an increase in porosity. Typically, the child’s pediatric dentist measures the damage by examining the surfaces of the teeth when clean, dry and under good lighting. The dentist (or dental hygienist) will then inquire about the child’s fluoride intake. They may ask for the source of their drinking water and what toothpaste they use.

This information will help determine if anything appearing on the surface is, in fact, a direct result of dental fluorosis. If the dentist suspects dental fluorosis, they can further examine the child’s teeth and gums. X-rays are beneficial to make sure the teeth do not have any other defects, like cavities.

Diagnosing Fluorosis

There are other conditions that can present themselves similarly to fluorosis. For example, developmental defects or issues with the skull or bones surrounding the face can disrupt teeth’s enamel or dentin. A history of high fevers or trauma (like a fall that directly injures a tooth) may discolor teeth in infants or young children.

Young children are susceptible to cavities in their primary teeth, so it is important to never jump to conclusions when diagnosing a child with possible dental fluorosis. The child’s dentist should assess any and all tooth discoloration of concern. It’s important to note that dental fluorosis will not cause cavities. Cavities are a separate issue.

Limited treatment options exist for children with dental fluorosis. An article on Fluorosis from toothpaste manufacturer Colgate states “minor cases of fluorosis do not need to be treated, especially if the fluorosis is only on the back of the teeth”. However, considering that fluoride in toothpaste is the #1 cause of dental fluorosis, should we really be relying on a toothpaste brand to tell us what is and isn’t worthy of treatment? Or should we insist that those causing the problem leave the determination of whether a negligent poisoning is worthy of treatment – to the people they poisoned?! I think the idea that they’d have an opinion at all is an insult to those suffering!

Does fluorosis go away?

Many believe the appropriate treatment for mild cases of fluorosis is bleaching. Some treat moderate cases with micro-abrasion. This removes the outermost, affected layer of enamel from the tooth’s surface in an acidic environment. Though they treat the cosmetic appearance, the actual damage to the tooth’s enamel is irreversible.

Severe cases of fluorosis generally receive bonding, crowns or veneers. The child’s pediatric dentist should discuss and administer any and all treatment options.

Then again, as with toothpaste brands, should we really ask the dentist to define the severity of fluorosis, when they pushed the fluoride treatments in the first place? Can we truly expect them to be unbiased when their own potential malpractice is in question.

Our Experience With Fluorosis

Because of our work, we receive a plethora of cases from individuals affected by fluorosis. In our own anecdotal experience, a disproportionate amount of these cases come from the state of Kentucky. Our understanding is that Kentucky is one of the most over-fluorinated states in the country.

The damage we see on the teeth of our clients is the result of exposure from 15 years ago, on some of these individuals. They come to us, ashamed to smile due to the effects of brushing with fluoride.

Presently, they want veneers to give them confidence to start their business or go back to school – and we’re are thrilled to help them. But, until now no one has informed these individuals what they are suffering from – not even their dentists. And that’s alarming to hear!

The Rise of Fluorosis

It should come as no surprise that dental fluorosis was rarely found in western countries prior to the widespread use of fluoride in the dentist industry. Today, we see fluoride in most toothpastes, mouthwashes, not to mention many municipal water supplies will contain added fluoride chemicals. All these factors help to explain why dental fluorosis rates have been on the rise for years and have now reached groundbreaking levels.

Information collected from a survey by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that 41% of American adolescents have some form of fluorosis. That’s an increase of 400% from just 60 years ago. So far, dentists continue to push fluoride treatments without properly informing parents of the potential risks,  and fail to adequately educate on how to measure and manage the amount of fluoride their child is consuming.

White Spots, Brown Spot & Stains On Teeth

The visual effects of Fluorosis dictates the severity.

Questionable: Normal, healthy teeth appear to have a smooth, glossy surface, that’s typically a pale white color. A possible indicator of the presence of dental fluorosis is an appearance of slight aberrations on the enamel. This can range from just a few white flecks to occasional white spots. This level of possible fluorosis is labeled “questionable” because it cannot be diagnosed as the mildest form of fluorosis, but it also can’t be classified as normal.

Is dental fluorosis dangerous?

Mild Fluorosis: A very mild case of fluorosis is small, opaque, paper white-areas that are typically scattered irregularly over the tooth. It involves less than 25% of the tooth’s surface area. Teeth also show no more than 1-2 mm of white opacity at the tip of the summit of the cusps of the bicuspids or second molars.

Mild dental fluorosis typically presents itself with bilateral, opaque, white striations that will run horizontally against the enamel. The opaque areas may form white patches. Yet, it does not involve more than 50% of the tooth.

Moderate Fluorosis: Moderate cases will affect all enamel surfaces of the teeth. The surfaces will show wear as brown staining as the main feature. Teeth can also begin to erode and even crumble.

Severe Fluorosis: In severe cases of dental fluorosis, the enamel can become discolored. The stains will not be present when the teeth initially irrupt in the mouth, as fluoresce enamel does not appear discolored. Stains will develop over time, which is due to diffusion of exogenous icons, such as iron and copper, into the abnormally porous enamel. These stains appear brown and are widespread, making the teeth look corroded. All enamel surfaces are now affected. Hypoplasia is also present. The general form of the tooth may also be affected.

The visual effects of dental fluorosis can greatly affect one’s self-esteem. Children who have dental fluorosis can suffer great embarrassment over the appearance of their teeth.

Why aren’t dentists concerned with fluorosis?

If dentists know, first-hand the effects of fluorosis, why are they waiting until there’s an issue to address this topic? They do know children cannot reverse the appearance by brushing and flossing, which is very discouraging.

The severe cases of fluorosis can cause a child to appear as if they have rotten teeth, something sure to illicit harsh judgment from others. Even the milder forms of dental fluorosis can have an effect on a self-esteem.

We live in a society that places a high value on the look of one’s smile and teeth. Someone suffering the effects of dental fluorosis is often viewed as less attractive and less pleasing compared to those with unaffected teeth.

If dentists are aware of this appalling outcome, where is the demand for a showing of care and compassion. We should expect dentists to fully disclose fluoride’s dangerous effects to their patients.

Shockingly, we’ve accepted cases in which our clients come to us in their 20s or 30s not even realizing they have fluorosis. Despite their teeth being an embarrassing hindrance to their life and happiness, many people haven’t even identified fluoride as the source of their suffering.

Fluorosis - Protecting Our Children From The Dangers of Fluoride
Is there enough fluoride in water to cause fluorosis?

Fluoride In Water & How Much is Too Much Fluoride

When it comes to dental fluorosis, water fluoridation is an extremely controversial topic. Some view it as a public health measure, while others consider it an example of mass, systemic poisoning.

That extreme view isn’t unfounded, considering fluoridated water accounts for 40% of all dental fluorosis cases. We consume these (sometimes) dangerous levels of fluoride via drinking water, children’s formula, or foods prepared with public drinking water.

Fluoride levels in municipal water supplies can range from 0.7 to 1.0ppm. This number will vary depending many factors, including the time of the year.

Can fluorosis be cured?

When it comes to fluorosis, prevention is key. That’s why it is imperative for pediatric dentists to educate parents in regards to the fluoride content in their child’s overall exposure level. This warning should include the source of their drinking water. You can obtain this information through the local water supply company, if not already known.

In addition to drinking water, diet can also contribute to fluorosis. Any food items or sodas manufactured with fluoridated water will also contribute to the development of dental fluorosis. You should account for all areas with great attention when it comes to the total fluoride intake for infants. This includes everything from water used to dilute formula, to food and other supplements.

The Benefits of Fluoride

There are very few studies that show any significant benefits from drinking water containing fluoride. This is surprising considering the potential risks of consuming too much fluoride because of a fluoridated water supply.

The prevailing belief that a fluoridated water supply reduces the prevalence of tooth decay is simply not supported by the data. Yet, many communities pay to add fluoride to their local water supply anyway.

Some studies even showed that cities which did not add fluoride to their drinking water had fewer cavities when compared to cities that did. The World Health Organization found that while only 3% of western European countries fluoridate their water, they have the same rate of dental cavities as areas that do not.

This study, and many other with similar results, should give you pause. Why are we drinking fluoride in the first place? We must remind ourselves that fluoride itself is a toxic substance. So why, then, are we exposing ourselves to these toxins intentionally, through our water supply?

Is All Fluoride Created Equal?

Most people don’t realize that fluoride added to city drinking water is not the same, pure,  sodium fluoride found in toothpaste. Instead, it is made from industrial toxic waste. This industrial waste is 26 percent hydrofluorosilicic acid and 74 percent wastewater, which often contains toxic heavy metals.

Most people would be horrified to know that It is not purified or regulated. In water treatment plants, they found stainless steel fixtures (in rooms where fluoride additives are handled) completely corrode after prolonged exposure. That really puts the power of fluoride in perspective!

Fluoride Toxicity

The causes and effects of fluorosis are discussed thoroughly throughout this article. But, how much do you really know about fluoride itself?

Fluoride is the 13th most abundant element present in the earth’s crust. It belongs to the halogen group of elements. It’s found naturally in water, soil, even plants and animals. Trace amounts of fluoride is even found in all mineralized tissues in the body; such as bones, dentin, and of course, tooth enamel.

Though there are some benefits to fluoride, regulating the amount of fluoride is crucial. Fluoride is found both naturally and artificially in water. By the time we account for concentrated, fluoridated dental products and materials, it’s not hard for the average person to unintentionally consume too much fluoride. Fluoride consumed at elevated levels is know to have seriously detrimental effects on the human body.

Excessive Ingestion of Fluoride

It’s important to note that excessive ingestion of fluoride is typically traced to off-the-shelf oral hygiene products. In a large data collection effort regarding fluoride poisoning, the American Association of Poison Control (AAPC). determined that toothpaste ingestion was the main source of fluoride toxicity. Other likely culprits are mouthwashes and supplements.

Over 80% of the cases of fluoride toxicity reported, were in children under the age of 6. They found children of this age group ingest more toothpaste than is ‘recommended’ because their swallowing reflex is not completely developed.

Fluoride – Giving Poison To Children

For us, this begs the question, “If there is a high risk of accidental ‘overdose’, why do we offer this poisonous ingredient to children at all?!” In what other situation are parents instructed to give their child something dangerous? Especially when the only warning they get (in the fine print on a plastic tube) is, “oh, and don’t let them swallow?” It is only at the insistence of the dental industry that we are told this risk is necessary.

Then manufacturers flavor these fluoride toothpastes like candy. This reinforces the idea for children to ‘eat’ it voluntarily, rather than spitting it out as recommended. Why don’t we hold dentists to the same standards as a medical professional? If your general practitioner were to prescribe you medication that poisoned you, they’d lose their license. They’d be sued for malpractice, and possibly sent to jail. Yet dentists are doing every time they send patients home with a sample tube of toothpaste.

Other Health Concerns Caused by Fluoride Consumption

Fluoride consumption also goes beyond just damaging the teeth. Other health problems include bone cancer, brain cell damage, muscle disorders, arthritis, bone fractures, cell death, blood disorders, infertility, and more. The Great Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility reported, “Fluoride exposure, at levels that are experienced by a significant proportion of the population whose drinking water is fluoridated, may have adverse effects on the developing brain.”

In another study conducted by a British researcher, cells found within the pineal gland (a gland that contains calcified deposits that accumulate fluoride) were equally as susceptible to fluoride-induced toxicity as were teeth. The only difference is the pineal gland is not visible to the eye, while the teeth of course are.

The researcher stated, “The safety of the use of fluorides ultimately rests on the assumption that the developing enamel organ is most sensitive to the toxic effects of fluoride. The results from this study suggest that the pinealocytes may be as susceptible to fluoride as the developing enamel organ” (Luke, 1997).

What other, unseen damage is fluoride causing? How much more exposure will we be subjected to before they are discovered?

Reducing Fluoride Exposure

Concerned about how much fluoride is in your drinking water? You can usually find this information on your local government’s website. If your city is adding fluoride to the drinking water, reach out to your local representative and request they stop the practice of additive water fluoridation.

In this application, fluoride is essentially used as a medication to prevent tooth decay. Citizens would revolt if they knew your city added any other medication to the water supply..

And yet they contaminate our water intentionally without recourse. When we’re sick, we make the choice to go to the doctor and/or get prescribed medication. We don’t get that choice when they add fluoride to our water supply. Municipalities are taking it upon themselves to make health decisions on our behalf, and we’re letting them.

Removing Fluoride From Your Water

If your efforts to petition you city to stop fluoridating your water are unsuccessful, there are steps you can take to remove it. You can also get your drinking water from another source. Finding water processed by reverse osmosis or distilled is a good place to start.

If you choose to, you can also filter your own water to remove added fluoride. Using fluoride free water is particularly important for us in infant formula and baby food whenever possible.

We place formula-fed babies at a higher risk when tap water is used. Even though the risk may be small, using filtered water in baby formula is an easy way to protect your child against dental fluorosis.

One study found that babies given formula were exposed to 200X more fluoride than breastfed babies. Pediatrician, Dr. Yolanda White reported the following, “I diagnose dental fluorosis on average 5 times daily, but fluoride doesn’t only affect teeth. It can potentially affect the brain and nervous system, kidneys, bones and other tissues in young children during their critical stages of organ development.”

Seeking Alternative Dental Products

In addition to monitoring fluoride in the water, there are other areas to examine. Fluoride toothpaste is usually the largest source of fluoride intake for young children and a major risk factor for dental fluorosis. Ideally, provide your children with non-fluoride toothpaste whenever possible.

If your children do use fluoride toothpaste, always supervise them to ensure they’re using only a small amount of paste. Ensure they spit out the excess paste and rinse thoroughly. Also be aware that toothpaste is flavored (for example, bubble-gum, various fruit, candy, etc.). This can be misleading because children will have a greater desire to swallow it since the taste is enticing.

Questioning The Dentist

Another thing to mind when monitoring fluoride intake will be gel treatments at the dentist office. Only those at high risk for cavities should receive fluoride gel treatments. Still, most dentists continue to offer –sometimes insist on- fluoride treatment regardless of the patient’s cavity risk.

If your dentist offers you a fluoride gel treatment, make sure to inquire on their reasoning. Then decline the service if you feel their recommendation is based on adding billable services, rather than medical necessity.

Other Fluoride Concerns

Remember we mentioned fluoridated water is used to make foods and other beverages? That’s yet another area to be aware of. The more processed a food is, the more fluoride it’s likely to contain. Some amount of fluoride will be present naturally, even in fresh spring water and fresh foods (like fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, and grains).


Mechanically processed chicken (like chicken fingers and chicken nuggets) is another hidden source of fluoride. These usually have elevated fluoride levels compared with hand-processed chicken.

This difference is due to the mechanical de-boning process which can increase the number of bone particles within the meat. Bone is the main place where fluoride accumulates in the body and that fluoride can leach into the meat in greater quantities, which broken, chipped, and smashed. Chicken meat has shown the highest levels of fluoride compared to any other mechanically de-boned meats.

Processed drinks like soda, juices, and sports drinks will contain more quantities of fluoride than processed foods. Bottled teas and instant teas contain higher levels of fluoride. Excessive tea consumption is linked to a bone disease known as skeletal fluorosis. On the other hand, some teas contain high levels of health boosting antioxidants which are good for overall health and also protect against fluoride toxicity.

Interestingly, Teflon-coated pans can also significantly increase the fluoride content of the food cooked in them. So in the context of food contaminates, use stainless steel pans, especially when cooking food for a child in their prime years of tooth development.

Fluoride In Medication

Medications are another source of hidden fluoride as many pharmaceuticals are fluoridated. Some medicines contain a “carbon-fluorine bond.” And some of these drugs are found to metabolize into fluoride within the body.

One such medication is Cipro. Other examples of chemicals that will break down into fluoride include: fluoridated anesthetics (such as Isoflurane & Sevoflurane), Niflunic acid, Flecainide, and Voriconazole. If these medications are prescribed, ask if there is a safer alternative available.

Obviously fluoride is an important topic and we feel strongly that not enough people are talking about it.

Why Fluorosis Matters

This is an issue everyone should care about. Particularly, if you have children with developing teeth. Though it’s not considered a disease, it can severely destruct the cosmetic appearance of the teeth, and may destroy a growing child’s self-esteem.

Fluoride is toxic. We’ve seen the corrosion of the teeth affected by it, and we can only imagine the internal the damage it can causes when consumed in unsafe amounts.

We don’t believe that fluoride is universally bad, but we do believe that there’s no enough research on the continued use as a public health initiative, and there is certainly not enough evidence to support the beneficial claims made by government officials and dentists.

You deserve more scrutiny, study, and more honestly from those that are here to serve and treat you. In fact – you should demand it.

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References

Alvarez, J. A., Rezende, K. M., Salazar Marocho, S. M., Alves, F. B., Celiberti, P., & Ciamponi, A. L. (2009, February). Dental fluorosis: Exposure, prevention and management. Retrieved from http://www.medicinaoral.com/medoralfree01/v14i2/medoralv14i2p103.pdf

DenBesten, P., & Li, W. (2011, June 23). Chronic Fluoride Toxicity: Dental Fluorosis. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3433161/

Fluorosis, Dental Fluorosis | Colgate® Oral Care. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/fluoride/fluorosis

Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fluoridefree.org.nz/information/research/greater_boston_in_harms_way/

Lindsay, D. E. (2006, August). The Truth, the Way and the Life. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=Tc4RDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT36&lpg=PT36&dq=Dr.

Luke, J. A. (1997). The Effect of Fluoride on the Physiology of the Pineal Gland. Retrieved from http://fluoridealert.org/studies/luke-1997/

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Fluoride Exposure. (2012, August). Retrieved from https://fluoridealert.org/content/top_ten/

Fluoride Causing Health Issues? Is Our Water Safe?

Fluoride Causing Health Issues, Some Experts Say

Is fluoride causing health issues? More and more experts seem to think so.

Walk down the self-care aisle of any grocery store and you will find an array of toothpaste and mouthwash that promise to do everything except make you taller. Use this one to get whiter teeth and another one to help sensitive teeth. Most of these products have one thing in common: they contain fluoride.

Fluoride Causing Health Issues? Is Our Water Safe?

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring chemical substance found in minor quantities throughout the air, in water, soil, plants, animals, in toothpaste, many city water supplies, soft drinks, and at the dentist. The effort to ramp up fluoride in the United States began as early as the 1930s in an attempt to prevent dental caries through the addition of fluoride to the public water supply. By 1951, water fluoridation was the official policy of the U.S. Public Health Service with fluoridated water reaching 50 million people in the United States by 1961.

However, findings from research prompts local policy makers to rethink their public health policy on supporting fluoridation of the water supply since lowering the “safe rate” for fluoride in 2015 due to evidence that fluoride causing health issues surfacing. The discussion on lowering the fluoride levels in water has long been a topic of contentious research. Even as early as 1992, Burt argued in “The Changing Patterns of Systemic Fluoride Intake” that the United states needed “a downward revision in the schedule for fluoride supplementation” as well as education on the potential for the damaging fluoride causing health issues brought on by too much fluoride (p 1).

Investigations Into Fluoride

In 1961, investigations into the safety of fluoride in the United States found “no clinically significant, adverse, physiological, or functional effects, with the exception of dental fluorosis, are to be anticipated in persons whose water supply contains fluoride in the concentration of 8 ppm ” (Azar, et al, 1961). In other words, the United States’ early findings supported nearly double the safe amount of 4 ppm now recorded by professionals in other global communities as the ceiling for safe water fluoridation levels. This would be fine if the adverse effects of fluoride causing health issues were benign. However, that’s not the case.

Chronic fluoride intoxication

Chronic fluoride intoxication, known as fluoride toxicity, begins with a mottling of tooth enamel and an elevation of bone density, called osteosclerosis. This effect is seen throughout communities where the domestic water supply is composed of fluoride in concentrations of over four parts per million (1-5). Moreover, fluoride is a recognized developmental neurotoxin, and not an essential trace element required for the development of healthy teeth and bones (Karimzade, Aghaei & Mahvi, 2014).

Additional and very recent studies have linked exposure to fluoridated water during childhood “with impaired attention and cognitive and intellectual functioning” that manifests in children and adults as ADD/ADHD (Karimzade, Aghaei & Mahvi, 2014; Malin & Till, 2015). Both prenatal and postnatal exposure to fluoride causing health issues have been linked to adverse effects of neurodevelopment (Malin & Till, 2015). Knowing this, you might begin to wonder why pediatric dentistry is touting it as so necessary to the public health and ask yourself, “Is fluoride safe?” This is a legitimate concern, and one whose full merits have yet to be addressed. Once considered a “fringe issue”, fluoride causing health issues are now linked to hypothyroid, the condition of underactive thyroid.

Fluoride in Austin, Texas

A 2012 Water District 17 meeting in Austin illustrated one of the most alarming aspects of such discussions regarding fluoride causing health issues. Texas dentist Mark Peppard, designated himself as a “referral base for M. D. Anderson”. He recounted receiving patients suffering from oral, head, and neck cancers. The primary intervention he offers is a fluoride tray containing “at least 5,000 ppm of topical application every night”.

Dentists like Dr. Peppard rely on the most convenient fallback for professionals. They default to literature supported by their local association without regard to errors in judgment regarding the safety of fluoride. Dentists often disregard the consequences of such treatments that extend beyond the teeth and adversely affect entire system. Fluoride causing health issues may not exist in Austin’s water supply if not for these professional opinions. However, the input of one local dentist has proven enough to keep fluoride causing health issues in Austin’s water supply.

American Dental Association on Fluoride

The data from global research becomes a little fuzzier when interpreted by The American Dental Association. They have your friendly local dentist advocating childhood fluoride causing health issues treatments at every teeth cleaning. The ADA asserts “community water fluoridation is the adjustment of the natural fluoride concentration in water up to the level recommended for optimal dental health” in a range of 0.7 to 1.2 ppm. This ranking is well above levels at which thyroid function is found to deteriorate (2005). The ADA’s “Fluoride Facts” pamphlet claimed that up to 1.22 ppm fluoride causing health issues in water was safe (2005). This information is considered incorrect based on recent studies. The ADA is also advocating what are now regarded as dangerously high levels of fluoride causing health issues.

More recent research from the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health asserts that water fluoridation above 4 ppm is linked to “30 per cent higher than expected rates of underactive thyroid” (Peckham, Lowrey & Spencer, 2015). Looking at the prevalence of underactive thyroid diagnoses for 2012-2013, data compiled from over 7935 general practices measure the risk. In England, roughly 6 million people live in communities adding up to 1 mg fluoride to their water supply.

Fluoride in the UK

Researchers added data comparing areas of the West Midlands, which has fluoridated drinking water, and Greater Manchester, which does not. They discovered a clear association between rates of underactive thyroid and levels of fluoride in the drinking water.

These observations, did not account for other sources of fluoride, such as those found in dental products, food, and drinks. These products are part of the systemic changes that Burt’s findings cite. The research from the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health concluded that “consideration needs to be given to reducing fluoride exposure, and public dental health interventions should stop [those] reliant on ingested fluoride and switch to topical fluoride-based and non-fluoride-based interventions” (Peckham, Lowrey & Spencer, 2015, p 5).

Conclusion on Fluoride

What do all the numbers and the research show? The takeaway from the fluoride debate is that agencies seem very comfortable using policing powers of states to over-medicate populations. They create grievous health concerns for many that no one ever answers for or alleviates. Unilateral decisions deem adding fluoride to drinking water in the best interest of their populations. After discovering their error through new safety research, they employed lower fluoride levels. A small parcel of states still hold out against the addition of fluoride into their drinking water. (See below the communities that have rejected fluoride). It seems prudent to treat individuals who might need additional fluoride rather than poisoning large segments of the population.

COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE REJECTED FLUORIDATION SINCE 1990

Compiled by Fluoride Action Network

Community / Country
Sullivan, Missouri
Palatka, Florida
Oneida, New York
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Carl Junction, MIssouri
Bennington, Vermont
Montello, Wisconsin
Brackenridge Borough, Pennsylvania
Boynton Beach, Florida
Doomadgee, Australia
Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania
Ford City, Pennsylvania
La Prairie, Quebec, Canada
Warwick, Queensland, Australia
Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia
Allora, Queensland, Australia
Yangan, Queensland, Australia
Preston, Georgia
Weston, Georgia
Southampton and parts of Hampshire County, UK
Richmond, Quebec, Canada
Waynesville, Missouri
Montrose, Colorodo
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Camden, Tennessee
Oberon, New South Wales, Australia
Boyne, Michigan
Buffalo, Missouri
Bolton, England
Hernando County, Florida
Wellington, Florida
Amherst County, Virginia
Wood Village, Oregon
Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
Lake of Bays, Ontario, Canada
Atwood, Tennessee
Hoopa Valley (Humboldt County), California
Byron Shire (NSW), Australia
Cotati (Sonoma County), California
Forsyth, Missouri
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
Davis, California
Tottenham, Ontario, Canada
Columbia, Tennessee
Woodland, Washington state
Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
Parkland, Washington
Hamilton, New Zealand
Portland, Oregon
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
Kenton, Tennessee
Southwest Harbor, Maine
Innisfail, Queensland, Australia
Whitsunday Regional Council, Queensland, Australia
Au Gres, Michigan
Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia
Tyrone, Pennsylvania
Lebanon, Tennessee
Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia
Olivehurst, California
Plumas Lake, California

(affected by decision of the Olivehurt Public Utility)

Smithville, Missouri
St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
Balsam Lake, Wisconsin
Pine Island, Florida
Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Milton, Florida
Bradford, Vermont
Romulus, New York
Pulaski, New York
Wichita, Kansas
Harvard, Nebraska
Crescent City, California
Lake View, Iowa
Cassadaga, New York
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Argos, Indiana
Bassett, Nebraska
Palisades, Colorado
Pevely, Missouri
Lakeville, Indiana
North Liberty, Indiana
Walkerton, Indiana
Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
Curacao
Albuquerque, New Mexico
West Manheim, Pennsylvania
Bourbon, Indiana
Bolivar, Missouri
Myerstown, Pennsylvania
Hartland Township, Michigan
Grantsburg, Wisconsin
Lake Cowichan, British Columbia, Canada
Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Palmer, Alaska
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
Palmer, Alaska
Welsh, Louisiana
Spencer, Indiana /BPP Water
College Station, Texas
Hohenwald, Tennessee
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Fairbanks, Alaska
Naples Village, New York
Mount Clemens, Michigan
Holmen, Wisconsin
Lago Vista, Texas
Mechanicsville, Iowa
Marcellus, Michigan
Independence, Virginia
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania
Sparta, North Carolina
Tellico, Tennessee
O’Fallon, Missouri
Red Bay, Alabama
Napa, California
Sandpoint, Idaho
Selmer, Tennessee
Crete, Nebraska
Dakota City, Nebraska
Franklin County, Nebraska
Norfolk, Nebraska
Wahoo, Nebraska
Schuylkill Haven Borough, Pennsylvania
Xenia, Ohio
Beacon, New York
Amery, Wisconsin

(Decision reversed in 2010)

Wisner, Nebraska
Yutan, Nebraska
Humboldt, Kansas
Wakefield, Nebraska
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Plainfield, Vermont (voted to remove fluoride)
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (for the 2nd time)
Skagit County, Washington
Big Canoe, Georgia
Jackman, Maine
Moose River, Maine
Corning, New York
Ainsworth, Nebraska
Aurora, Nebraska
Battle Creek, Nebraska
Bayard, Nebraska
Beatrice, Nebraska
Bridgeport, Nebraska
Broken Bow, Nebraska
Cambridge, Nebraska
Central City, Nebraska
Chadron, Nebraska
Cozad, Nebraska
Crawford, Nebraska
David City, Nebraska
Eagle, Nebraska
Friend, Nebraska
Geneva, Nebraska
Gothenburg, Nebraska
Grand Island, Nebraska
Grant, Nebraska
Hastings, Nebraska
Hebron, Nebraska
Imperial, Nebraska
Kimball, Nebraska
Lexington, Nebraska
Madison, Nebraska
Milford, Nebraska
Mitchell, Nebraska
North Platte, Nebraska
Ord, Nebraska
Pawnee City, Nebraska
Pierce, Nebraska
Plainview, Nebraska
Ravenna, Nebraska
Schuyler, Nebraska
Scottsbluff, Nebraska
Shelton, Nebraska
Sidney, Nebraska
St. Paul, Nebraska
Stanton, Nebraska
Stromsburg, Nebraska
Sutherland, Nebraska
Sutton, Nebraska
Tekamah, Nebraska
Valentine, Nebraska
Weeping Water, Nebraska
Wilber, Nebraska
Wood River, Nebraska
Wymore, Nebraska
York, Nebraska
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
Hyndburn, Lancashire, England
Pendle, Lancashire, England
Alamo Heights, Texas
Elba, New York
Littleton, Massachusetts
Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Poughkeepsie, New York
Manila, Humboldt County, Calfornia
Lewisburg, Tennessee
Elgin City Council, Texas
Juneau, Alaska
O’Connor UD, Sparta, White County, Georgia
Quebeck Walling UD, Sparta, White County, Georgia
Cobleskill Village, Schoharie County, New York

(Decision reversed in 2009)

Marshall County BUP#1, Lewisburg, Marshall County, Georgia
LaGuardo UD, Lebanon, Wilson County, Georgia
Conewango Township, Pennsylvania
Glade Township, Pennsylvania
Mead Township, Pennsylvania
Pleasant Township, Pennsylvania
Big Creek Utility District, Grundy County, Georgia
Cagle-Fredonia Utility District, Big Creek, Sequatchie, Georgia
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Beach Haven, New Jersey
Sulphur Rock, Arkansas
Mt Desert Water District, Maine
East Montgomery, Tennessee
Martin County, Florida
Juneau, Alaska
Central Bridge Water District, New York
Ashland, Oregon

(Decision reversed in 2008)

Lenapah, Oklahoma
Page, Arizona
Lincoln, Maine
Lafayette, Tennessee
Bellingham, Washington State
Springfield, Ohio
Xenia, Ohio
Tooele, Utah
Mammoth Lakes, California
Homer, New York
Hood River, Oregon
Neosho, Missouri
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Snohomish, Washington State
Lancaster, Ohio
Hutchinson, Kansas
Clarksdale, Mississippi
Milton, Washington State
Telluride, Colorado
Sumner, Washington State
South Blount Water District, Tennessee
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

(Rejected again in 2009)

Honolulu, Hawaii
Lancaster, Ohio
Sequim, Washington State
York, Nebraska
Columbiana, Alabama
Canton, New York
Shaler, Pennsylvania
Billings, Montana
Kalispell, Montana
Washoe County, Nevada
Methuen, Massachusetts
Redding, California
Watsonville, California
Texarkana, Arkansas
Ashdown, Arkansas
Oneida, New York
Franklin, North Carolina
Plainville, Massachusetts
Monroe, Louisiana
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Kennewick, Washington
Bennington, Vermont
Lanai, Hawaii
Erie, Colorado

NOTE: FAN was informed in Jan 2013 that Erie is fluoridating. We do not know when the reversal took place.

Modesto, California
Worcester, Massachusetts
Flagstaff, Arizona
Sutherlin, Oregon
White Salmon, Washington
Goldendale, Washington
Bishopville, South Carolina
Harper, Kansas
Brewster, Massachusetts
McPherson, Kansas
Norridgewock, Maine
Blue River, Wisconsin
Willamina, Oregon
Ithaca, New York
Spokane, Washington
Brattleboro, Vermont
East Wenatchee, Washington
Shawano, Wisconsin
Nibly City, Utah
Hyrum City, Utah
Providence City, Utah
Smithfield City, Utah
Logan City, Utah
River Heights, Utah
Pequannock, New Jersey
Ozark, Missouri
Wooster, Ohio
Woodside, California
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Winfield, Kansas
Wilmington, Massachusetts
Santa Barbara, California
Johnstown, New York
Wichita, Kansas
Boca Raton, Florida
El Carjon, California
Helix Water District, California
Lakeside Water District, California
Hutchinson, Kansas
Riverview Water District, California
La Mesa, California
Santa Cruz, California
Olympia, Washington
Bremerton, Washington
Seward, Nebraska
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
Grand Island, Nebraska
Norfolk, Nebraska
North Platte, Nebraska
Washington, Missouri
Kitmat, British Columbia, Canada
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Ridgefield, Oregon
Largo, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
North Redington Beach, Florida
Amsterdam, New York
Suisun City, California
Yardley, Pennsylvania
Village of Orfordville, Wisconsin
Western Nassau County, New York
Gothenberg, Nebraska
Bloomer, Wisconsin
Kodiak, Alaska
Carle Place, New York
Winter Springs, Florida
Pasco, Florida
York, Pennsylvania
Thurmont, Maryland
Albany, New York
Middletown, Maryland
Barnstable (Cape Cod), Massachusetts
Wagoner, Oklahoma
Redwood Valley, California
Los Altos Hills (Purissima) California
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada
Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Milltown, Wisconsin
Bellingham, Washington
Comox/Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada
Palm Beach County, Florida

Note: Parts of the county are fluoridated

Ketchikan, AlaskaSuffolk County, New YorkDavis, CaliforniaMorgan Hill, California

References

Azar Ha, Nucho Ck, Bayyuk Si, Bayyuk Wb. “Skeletal Sclerosis Due to Chronic Fluoride Intoxication: Cases from an Endemic Area of Fluorosis in the Region of the Persian Gulf.” Ann Intern Med. 1961;55:193-200. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-55-2-193BMJ. “Water fluoridation in England linked to higher rates of underactive thyroid.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150224083811.htm>.

Burt, B. A. (1992). “The changing patterns of systemic fluoride intake.” Journal of Dental Research, 71(5), 1228-1237.Hanes, M., & Jones, M. (n.d.). Fluoride Action Network. Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://fluoridealert.org/content/communities/Isah,

H. A., Mohammed, U. A., & Mohammed, A. A. (2014). Environmental distribution of fluoride in drinking waters of Kaltungo area, North-Eastern Nigeria. American Journal of Environmental Protection, 3(6-2), 19-24.

Karimzade, S., Aghaei, M., & Mahvi, A. H. (2014). Investigation of intelligence quotient in 9–12-year-old children exposed to high-and low-drinking water fluoride in west Azerbaijan province, Iran. Fluoride, 47(1), 9-14.

Malin, A. J., & Till, C. (2015). Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association. Environmental Health, 14(1), 17.

McGinley, J., & Stoufflet, N. (2005). Fluoridation Facts. Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member Center/FIles/fluoridation_facts.ashx

Peckham, Lowery & Spencer. “Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water.” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, February 2015 DOI: 10.1136/jech-2014-204971

Is the Creative Diagnosis by a Texas Dentist really a ripoff?

My household’s level of confidence in dentistry is at an all-time low due to creative diagnosis. About six months ago, my Texas dentist informed me that my “bunny teeth” were likely getting in the way of my professional success, a problem he could correct with a (pricey) cosmetic procedure.

If I let him fix my teeth, he told me, he was sure I would start “dressing better.” A few months later, my husband scheduled a basic cleaning with a new Texas Dentist.

Once they had him in the chair and looked at his teeth, they informed him that the regular cleaning wouldn’t do at all: He would need to reschedule for an $800 deep cleaning. Creative diagnosis? No thanks. I’d rather go to Tijuana to get dental veneers.

We were convinced we must look like suckers—until I came across an op-ed in ADANews, the official publication of the American Dental Association. The article, by longtime pediatric dentist Jeffrey Camm, described a disturbing trend he called creative diagnosis — the peddling of unnecessary treatments.

The Mystery of Creative Diagnostics by Dentists

William van Dyk, a Northern California dentist of 41 years, saw Camm’s op-ed and wrote in: “I especially love the patients that come in for second opinions after the previous dentist found multiple thousands of dollars in necessary treatment where nothing had been found six months earlier. And, when we look, there is nothing to diagnose.”

“In recent years, I have been seeing more and more creative diagnosis,” Camm told me when I called him at his practice in Washington state. A Texas dentist, he said, might think, “‘Well, the dental insurance covers this crown, so I’m not hurting this patient, so why don’t I just do it?’ That’s the absolutely wrong approach.”

Poking around, I found plenty of services catering to Texas dentists hoping to increase their incomes. One lecturer at a privately operated seminar called The Profitable Dentist ($389) aimed to help “dentists to reignite their passion for dentistry while increasing their profit and time away from the office.”

Is the ADA Perpetuating Creative Diagnosing?

Even the ADA’s 2014 annual conference offered tips for maximizing revenue: “Taking time to help our patients want what we know they need,” notes one session description, “can drive the economic and reward engine of our practice.” Could this be the source of creative diagnosis?

Do you think you’ve been the victim of “creative diagnosis” from any of these dentists?

Name

Website

Phone

Address

Rodolfo “Rudy” G. Ramos Jr., D.D.S., P.C.http://www.rudyramosdds.com/

(713) 973-9591

9545 Katy Freeway, Ste. 125, Houston, Texas, 77024
Steven Austin, D.D.S.http://drsteveaustin.com

(806) 358-7646

2815 South Georgia, Amarillo, Texas, 79109
Tamela L. Gough, D.D.S., M.S.http://www.allenkidsdentist.com/

(972) 727-0737

201 N Alma Dr Ste 100, Allen, Texas, 75013
James W. Chancellor, D.D.S.

(210) 653-4410

4952 Windsor Hill, Suite 201, San Antonio, Texas, 78239
D. Bradley Dean, D.D.S.http://www.ntxpa.com/

(972) 964-2900

3900 American Drive, Suite 101, Plano , Texas, 75075
Christie Leedy, D.D.Shttp://www.abilenedental.com/

(325) 692-3344

5309 Buffalo Gap Rd, Abilene, Texas, 79606
Kirby Bunel Jr., D.D.S.http://www.texarkanacosmeticdentistry.com/

(903) 794-3331

1701 Moores Lane, Texarkana, Texas, 75503
Dr. Mark Peppard, DDShttp://www.pepdds.com/

(512) 835-9557

4005 Spicewood Springs Road, Building C, Ste 500, Austin, Texas, 78759
Dr. Jennifer Bonehttp://hillcountrydentalassociates.com/

(830) 257-3000

710 Hill Country Dr #1, Kerrville, Texas, 78028
Dr. Donna Miller, DDShttp://creekwooddentalarts.com/

(254) 772-3632

7911 Woodway Drive, Waco, Texas, 76712
Dr. Ronald Rheahttp://www.dentistsattcv.com/rhea.html

(713) 467-3458

791 Town & Country Blvd Suite 222, Houston, Texas, 77024
Dr. Craig Armstrong, DDShttp://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/

(832) 251-1234

10370 Richmond Avenue, Suite 780, Houston, Texas, 77042

Upselling in dentistry isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s having a moment. One reason: Texas Dental school tuition—and debt—has doubled since the ’90s.

Is High Debt Causing Creative Diagnosis by a Texas Dentist?

According to the American Dental Education Association, students who graduated in 1996 were in the hole $112,000 (in 2013 dollars), on average, while 2013 grads were a whopping $215,000 in debt—28 percent were on the hook for $300,000 or more.

By contrast, the average med school grad owed $170,000. ADEA executive director Richard Valachovic explained that one reason dental schools have jacked up tuitions is the rising costs of technology for student labs.

In any case, a generation ago, newly hatched Texas dentists would join established practices as modestly paid associates, with the promise of eventually becoming partners. But these days, with dentists retiring later, there’s less turnover in private practice tempting new dentists to forgo dental care and engage in creative diagnosis.

Are Dental Chains Asking Dentists to Diagnose Creatively?

Instead, more and more young dentists are taking jobs with chains, many of which set revenue quotas for practitioners. This has created some legal backlash: In 2012, for example, 11 patients sued (PDF) a 450-office chain called Aspen Dental, claiming that its model turns dentists into salespeople.

Some corporate dentists appear to have crossed the line into fraud. In 2010, Small Smiles, a venture-capital-owned chain with offices in 20 states, was ordered to refund $24 million to the government after an investigation found that its dentists had been performing unnecessary extractions, fillings, and root canals on children covered by Medicaid. Could these corporations be the reason behind creative diagnosis?

A new lawsuit alleges that some toddlers it treated underwent as many as 14 procedures—often under restraint and without anesthesia. (The group was banned from Medicaid this year.) Several other pediatric dentistry chains have been sued as a result of similar allegations.

Advice for Creative Diagnostic Attempts by Your Dentist

So how can you spot creative diagnosis when you go for your next cleaning? First, beware of specials: That laser dentistry and whitening package may be a ploy to get you in the door so the practice can upsell you on more-profitable procedures.

Van Dyk also advises caution if your Texas dentist insists on replacing old fillings or recommends crowns instead of fillings. And look out for excessive X-rays: The ADA says healthy patients need a full set (14 to 22) every two years at the most.

If your Texas dentist recommends a special “cone-beam” X-ray, get a second opinion. Along with a 3-D picture of your mouth, it delivers radiation up to 18X that of a traditional dental X-ray.

Radiation experts worry that some Texas dentists are substituting FDA approved cone-beam scanners for a standard X-ray.

Dealing with Creative Diagnosis in Pediatrics by a Texas Dentist

Finally, when it comes to children’s dentists, make sure to find a board-certified pediatric specialist. Not all dentists that cater to children have special training.

The practitioners I spoke to were quick to add that even dubious-sounding treatments are in some cases medically necessary, and not necessarily creative diagnosis.

In conclusion, if your gut says your dentist is going overboard on treatment, get a second opinion. “Will you have to pay a little more for another consult?” Camm asks. “Sure. But it could end up saving you a whole lot more in the long run.”

Curated from Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off? | Mother Jones