Adding fluoride to water supplies or fluoridation is a common practice. The practice started after studies showed that fluoridation could decrease the case of food decay. Ideally, adding fluoride to water is a way of curbing tooth decay. Strengthens the enamel and enhances the remineralization of teeth. It fights decay-causing bacteria and hence prevents and reverses tooth cavities.
Remember, tooth decay is a common health problem. Adding fluoride in water was a simple way of improving the dental health of the population. Thus, individuals and families could, in turn, save their dental care costs. However, the ingestion of high amounts of fluoride for a long time can lead to skeletal problems and fluorosis. Fluorosis affects the bones and teeth.
However, there are growing concerns about the potentially detrimental effects of drinking fluoride in tap water. The worry is that the risk of intake of fluoridated water can outweigh the benefits, below are some health issues that emanate from the intake of fluoride.
1. Dental Fluorosis
Exposure to a high amount of fluoride during childhood causes tiny white speck or streaks. In fact, you can even notice the discoloration. Luckily this problem does not affect teeth health. Excessive exposure to fluoride causes tooth discoloration. You can prevent dental fluorosis in children by ensuring they drink milk that contains fluoride-free water.
Also, here is another important thing. Children with less than six years should use fluoride-free mouthwash. Also, supervise your children when brushing to ensure they do not swallow toothpaste.
2. Thyroid problem
Another effect of fluoride in tap water is damaging the parathyroid gland. This results in a condition known as hyperparathyroidism, which is characterized by secreting an uncontrolled amount of parathyroid hormones. Consequently, you can end up with low calcium in the bones and abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. Bones that have low calcium concentration are weak and more prone to fractures. Fluoride also causes bone cancer, osteoarthritis, and temporomandibular joint disorder.
3. Skeletal Fluorosis
Skeletal fluorosis is a disease that causes damage and pain in joints and bones. It is caused by the accumulation of fluoride in the bones over many years. When you develop skeletal fluorosis, the bones become hard and less elastic. This increases the risk of fractures. The thickening of bones and the accumulation of bone tissues leads to impaired joint mobility. Pain and stiffness in joints are some of the early signs of skeletal fluorosis. In severe cases, experience pain and muscle impairment sue to change of bone structure and calcification of ligaments.
4. Neurological problems
Fluoride is one of the industrial chemicals that negatively affect child development. Fluoride is a neurotoxin and hence hazardous in high doses. Exposure to fluoride during pregnancy can affect the cognitive abilities of the child. Another neurological problem that comes as a result of tap water fluoridation is ADHD. Pregnant mothers who have high levels of fluoride levels give birth to children with ADHD symptoms, particularly inattention. Fluoride is one of the substances crosses the placenta easily.
The use of excessive fluoride can cause skin problems such as acne.
Another health problem caused by drinking tap water with fluoride is cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, heart failure arterial calcification, cardiac insufficiency, and myocardial damage. Fluoridated water also causes osteosarcoma, which is a type of cancer that spreads from the bones.
Did you know fluoride causes reproductive issues? Drinking tap water with fluoride can lead to early puberty in girls and, worse, still lower infertility.
5. Fluoride poisoning
Exposure to high levels of fluoride can also lead to fluoride poisoning. If you are exposed to acute or high levels of fluoride, you risk having abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting. Seizures, muscle spasms, and excessive saliva. However, drinking regular tap water cannot cause these problems. It can only occur if there is an industrial explosion or fire which leads to acc9dental contamination of drinking water. While fluoride is harmful in large amounts, it is helpful in small quantities. High levels of fluoride are also toxic to the nerve cells and the brain. It is also associated with cognition, learning and memory deficits.
If you do not want to consume fluoride by drinking fluoridated municipal water, then you have several options. You can either buy bottled water or filter water to get rid of fluoride according to CleanerSofterWater, diagnose and solve water quality problems using water filters. They offer information on whole house filters, comparison, maintenance costs, water treatment guides.
Without a doubt, fluoride is beneficial in dental development and cavity prevention. Since dental cavities have reduced in most countries even without fluoridation, we should ensure we add the correct amount of fluoride in for dental treatment purposes. Also, we should ensure that fluoridation does not exacerbate adverse health effects. Lastly, it is important to determine people who are vulnerable to fluoride in tap water, for instance, infants and patients. We should ensure their water comes from fluoride-free sources.