Fluoride is touted to be an essential part of our dental routines and recommended by dentists everywhere. But today, we’ll answer the question if fluoride is bad for you and how much fluoride is too much
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is the negative ion of the element fluorine. It is commonly found in topical gels, toothpastes, mouthwashes, food and water. Fluoridated water, which contains approximately 0.7 ppm (parts per million) fluoride is found to reduce incidences of tooth decay. Additionally, fluoride is an essential part of remineralization. However, excess use of fluoride can cause larger health problems. So for something that’s meant to be good for us, how can it necessarily pose a risk?
What are some of the dangers of excessive fluoride use?
- Skeletal Fluorosis: Excess consumption of fluoride can be linked to a bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. This can lead to weakened, less elastic bones that are more susceptible to fractures as well as increased damage to the bones and joints
- Thyroid problems: In certain cases, fluoride was found to damage the parathyroid gland and causing hyperparathyroidism. This causes calcium to be depleted from the bones and, causing a higher concentration of calcium found in the blood leaving your bones more susceptible to fractures
- Neurological Problems: In 2017, an independent study found that exposure to fluoride before birth could lead to poorer cognitive outcomes in the future. The study found that higher fluoride exposure in children exposed to it had lower IQ scores in comparison to the control group
Not to mention, excess use of fluoride can cause the following health issues:
- Acne (and other skin problems)
- Reproductive Issues
- Thyroid Dysfunction
With all of the health problems that are linked with excessive fluoride exposure, why are we still associating fluoride with good dental health? The answer to that question is not as easy as it may seem; however, the key difference is that these health issues were linked from excess fluoride exposure. Fluoride is ok in moderation and helps to eliminates tooth decay. In 2016, the CDC found that over 73% of Americans are receiving enough fluoride from their drinking water. With that being said, we don’t believe that fluoride in toothpastes or mouthwash is a necessary component to make them whole. In fact, our toothpastes are fluoride free and we believe that many of our customers already receive enough fluoride from normal consumption of water and food.