Fluoride is naturally found in soil, in water, and in food. Besides being available naturally, fluoride is also produced synthetically, usually to be used in water, mouthwash, toothpaste and used in various other chemical-based products.
In water that is supplied to the city for public consumption, it is normal for the water authority to add fluoride to it because the fluoride content in water is lacking. The aim is to reduce the prevalence of tooth decay in local communities.
The problem of tooth decay is a common problem, especially in children. A gig check requires a lot of money so that few people pay attention to their teeth. So, the water authorities add fluoride to the water that will be supplied to the community. Of course, the addition of fluoride can save health care costs.
However, so far there have been concerns about the negative effects of fluoride on health such as bad for bone health, dental health, and neurological development. Ok, here’s a look at the facts about fluoride that you might not know.
Awesome Facts About Fluoride
Fluoride comes from fluoride, this is a natural and common ingredient and its abundance
If fluoride is added to water, the benefit is to reduce tooth decay.
Tooth decay due to demineralization and remineralization can be neutralized with fluoride
Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis or skeletal fluorosis, which in turn will damage the joints and bones.
Risks and Side Effects of Fluoride
If excessive exposure to fluoride can cause many health problems
If fluoride exposure occurs in high concentrations in childhood or when teeth develop during the period it causes dental fluorosis. In this condition, if you notice there will be white spots on the tooth enamel or spots of signs of damage.
Actually, this has no effect on dental health but you will see changes in the color of the teeth that are not good to see.
One way to prevent fluorosis is to breastfeed babies or make their formula milk with fluoride-free water.
Then, children under 6 years of age should not use mouthwash containing fluoride, as well as brushing their teeth. When brushing your teeth, parents must monitor their children not to swallow toothpaste.
Fluoride Effects for Skeletal Fluorosis
In addition to causing damage to the teeth, excessive exposure to fluoride can also cause bone problems that can be called skeletal fluorosis. If exposed for years it can cause joint disease and damage to the bones.
As a result, the bones harden and lose their elasticity and this can increase the risk of fractures. If bone tissue accumulates and causes the bones to thicken, it can cause movement disorders in the joints.
Fluoride Effects for Thyroid Problems
There are also effects that are worse than fluoride, in some cases if there is excess fluoride it will cause damage to the parathyroid gland. Finally causing hyperparathyroidism, parathyroid hormone secretion cannot be controlled anymore.
This case, in turn, can cause calcium depletion in the bones and a high concentration of calcium in the blood. If the calcium concentration is low in the bone, then the result is susceptibility to fractures.
The Dangers of Fluoride against Neurological Problems
A 2007 study stated that if babies are exposed to fluoride before birth, the risk is that there are worse cognitive problems when they are born later.
The researchers measured fluoride levels in participants, namely 299 pregnant women and their children aged 6 to 12 years. Then, they tested the cognitive abilities of these children at their age of 4 years, 6 years and 12 years. So, the result is that children exposed to high fluoride experience lower IQ tests.
In 2014, fluoride was concluded as a neurotoxin which is dangerous for child development, including hazardous materials as well as chemicals in industries such as lead, toluene, arsenic, and methylmercury.
Other Health Problems Relate to Fluoride
Based on information from the International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). The adverse effects of fluoride on health can also have an impact on problems such as the following:
Problems with acne and other skin diseases
- Cardiovascular disease, including arteriosclerosis and arterial calcification, hypertension, cardiac insufficiency, myocardial damage, and heart failure
- Relating to low reproductive problems and early puberty in girls
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Bad for bones and joints, such as osteoarthritis, bone cancer, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Neurological issues can cause ADHD
However, health experts do not eliminate fluoride at all in human life because fluoride is also beneficial. So, the balance between benefits and risk factors. In this case, needs to be considered.
In the event of fluoride poisoning resulting from high levels of acute fluoride exposure it can cause health problems such as:
- Excessive saliva
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps
Note: Fluoride that enters the body in large quantities can be dangerous for health, but if only in small quantities it is beneficial.