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PRESS RELEASE: When Fluoridation Ends, So Do Cavities

Fluoride May Not Prevent Cavities, and Can Cause Health Problems

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Updated December 15, 2003

Wednesday January 24, 2001 --Cavity rates declined in several cities that stopped water fluoridation, new studies report, contradicting American Dental Association (ADA) predictions, according to Fluoride Action Network.

Fluoride added to over 62% of US water supplies is supposed to reduce tooth decay but these six studies from dental journals show it hasn't and, in fact, may have increased the likelihood of rotten choppers.

  • "No increase in caries (cavities) was found in Kuopio (Finland) 3 years after the discontinuation of water fluoridation," according to Caries Research (1). In fact, when Kuopio was compared to a similar never fluoridated Finnish town, cavity rates in both towns either remained the same or decreased six years after fluoridation was stopped in Kuopio.
  • Seven years after fluoridation ended in LaSalud, Cuba, cavities remained low in 6 to 9 year olds, decreased in 10 to 11 year-olds, significantly decreased in 12 to 13 year olds, while caries-free children increased dramatically, reports Caries Research (2).
  • East German scientists report, "following the cessation of water fluoridation in the cities Chemnitz (formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt) and Plauen, a significant fall in caries prevalence was observed," according to Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (3). Additional surveys in the formerly-fluoridated towns of Spremberg and Zittau found. "Caries levels for the 12-year-olds of both towns significantly decreased... following the cessation of water fluoridation."
  • Not only did decay rates remain stable during an 11-month fluoridation break in Durham, NC, between September, 1990, and August, 1991 but dental fluorosis declined in children born during that period, according to the Journal of Dental Research (4)
  • In British Columbia, Canada, "the prevalence of caries decreased over time in the fluoridation-ended community while remaining unchanged in the fluoridated community," reported in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. (5)
  • In 1973, the Dutch town of Tiel stopped fluoridation. Researchers counted drilled, missing, and filled tooth surfaces (DMFS) of Tiel's 15-year olds, then collected identical data from never-fluoridated Culemborg. DMFS initially increased in Tiel then dipped to 11% of baseline from 1968/69 to 1987/88 while never-fluoridated Culemborg's 15-year-olds had 72% less cavities over the same period, reports Caries Research. (6)
A recently released government report out of Canada (7) shows similar negative results and offers a reason.

Fluoridation was launched in the 1940's when dentists believed fluoride's beneficial effects were achieved internally, through the bloodstream then absorbed inside the teeth. The Canadians report that "this effect is likely to be minor...The evidence for a post-eruptive (topical) effect,... is much stronger."

Therefore, swallowing fluoride doesn't reduce tooth decay but does cause dental fluorosis -- white spotted, yellow or brown stained and sometimes pitted teeth.

According to the ADA's website "Dental decay can be expected to increase if water fluoridation in a community is discontinued for one year or more, even if topical products such as fluoride toothpaste and fluoride rinses are widely used."

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