- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Is fluoride poisonous to your health?
Mild Dental Fluorosis
The main reason that drinking water is fluoridated is to prevent tooth decay within the population. This process is known as fluoridation. The worldwide population began the use of fluoridated water in 1945 after researchers discovered that high levels of fluoride occurred naturally in water and moderate use of it prevented tooth decay. High levels of fluoride in groundwater appeared to be higher in volcanic and mountainous areas. It is said that volcanic eruptions produce fluorine gas which pollute streams, lakes and any land in the surrounding areas. Livestocks were also affected by these eruptions by consuming grass which were polluted by the eruptions from the volcanoes. Exposure to fluoride can be quite uncomfortable, as it can lead to conjunctivitis, bone degeneration, skin irritation and discoloration of the teeth. The discoloration of the teeth is a condition known as fluorosis, which affects mostly kids during their younger years. It is caused mainly by overexposure to fluoride. Fluoride has also been linked to bone cancer in boys, osteosarcoma, osteoporosis, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), brittle bones, hip fractures and Alzheimer's disease. In the mid to late 80's, researchers found that fluorosis became prevalent in teenagers and affected adults as well. According to webmd.com, a major factor contributing to dental fluorosis was due to the abuse of products that contained fluoride, such as toothpaste and mouthwash. As a child I always wondered why my mother cautioned me not to swallow toothpaste but to spit it out. But it was for good reason, maybe mom knew the repercussion of swallowing toothpaste. Ingesting a large amount of fluoride over a short period of time, can produce symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Skeletal fluorosis is another disease caused by an excessive amount of fluoride ingestion into the body over a period of time. The effects are evident, as the individual tends to experience severe skeletal problems. Initial signs of skeletal fluorosis include stiffness and joint pain. In cases where the disease is advance, the bone structure may change and ligaments may become hardened, therefore making mobility difficult and painful. And so I ask the question, " Is fluoride safe in our drinking water?" The leaders of various countries need to come together and discuss other ways to purify and treat water systems. Our long life depends on what we ingest into our bodies.