Flouride In Your Water
Flouride in water may occur naturally or be present as a controlled additive to reduce the risk of tooth decay. The original discovery of the benefits of fluoride occurred in a small town with a high natural level in the wells of the area.
A dentist who lived in the Colorado town found that many of the younger patients had brown discolorations on their teeth, but most were free of cavities. Further investigations showed that the mineral has the ability to prevent tooth decay.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, putting flouride in drinking water where it is not naturally present is one of the "10 great public health achievements of the 20th century".
As an alternative, the salt form of the mineral can be added to table salt. This is common in countries where there is no large public or centralized treatment facility for drinking water purification.
There have always been critics of public fluoridation. Some complain they are being medicated without their permission. Others worry about toxicity. The most common side effect is discoloration. When too much is consumed during early childhood, prior to the age of four, the child's permanent teeth may be discolored. This is not a topical discoloration, but one that occurs deep within the tooth. The only treatment is affixing a veneer.
The problem is not accompanied by adverse health effects. It is a cosmetic problem.
Excessive intake of fluorides can cause poisoning. The most common cause of poisoning is swallowing fluoridated toothpastes. Parents should be careful to watch their children while they are brushing. The toothpaste should not be swallowed.
The naturally occurring flouride in drinking water can be high enough to cause weakened bones and other adverse effects. People with private wells in certain areas are advised to have testing conducted and to install filtration systems to ensure that their intake does not exceed recommended levels.
Symptoms of poisoning include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Death occurs rarely, usually in people who were already ill or suffered from weakened immune systems.
There have been several cases of accidental excessive fluoridation resulting in at least one death. This is another fact that critics point to when discussing the safety of the practice.
Whether you are for or against flouride in water, installing a purifier on your own kitchen tap can help to ease your mind. A good purifier will not remove all traces of the element, so there is still protection against cavities.
But if someone accidentally dumps a truckload into your local supply, it will remove enough to keep you from getting sick.