- July 16, 2015
Many Americans have grown up drinking fluoridated water and thanking it for improvements in dental health, but what a growing number of people are discovering is this increased fluoride consumption may have little to no effect on our dental health while having extremely detrimental effect to our whole body health.
How Your Mouth Fights Cavities
Our bodies are a symbiosis of systems nervous, coronary, digestive, etc. that are designed to work together. Our mouth is its own environment. Our teeth are part of that system breaking down food that eventually provides nourishment for our entire body. The foods we choose to consume determine what effect our body will receive. Ingesting large amounts of sugar and processed foods containing complex carbohydrates that break down into sugars can be extremely harmful to our oral ecosystems. Here’s how it works:
- Tooth enamel is a strong mineral compound of phosphate and calcium, but as strong as it is, it’s still vulnerable to acidic damage
- Bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars in saliva (both natural sugars and those from our foods) to form acid
- Our saliva neutralizes the acid and mineralizes enamel
This natural process has served human beings well for thousands of years, but our modern diets have shattered this delicate balance causing demineralization from acids to happen at a greater rate than reminerlization from saliva causing caries or cavities.
Facts About Fluoride
To date there are NO scientific studies that conclusively report that fluoridated drinking water improves dental health. In fact, developed countries with and without fluoridated water supplies have shown the same percentage of decrease in tooth decay. However, there have been many researchers who have provided evidence in support of direct fluoride application. Here’s how it works:
- Fluoride from 1000 to 1100 ppm in toothpaste is applied to the teeth during brushing
- It is essential to brush for 2 minutes! This reduces the number of bacteria and allows the fluoride enough time to bond with enamel
- Always thoroughly rinse your mouth after brushing enough fluoride will remain on your teeth and in your saliva to treat your teeth
- Enamel made of phosphate and calcium chemically bonds with fluoride making the enamel a stronger compound
The chemical bond between fluoride and tooth enamel can help rebalance our oral ecosystem when it is directly applied to teeth. However, fluoride is a destructive toxin that has numerous adverse health effects when ingested. That’s why tubes of toothpaste and bottles of fluoridated mouthwash display warnings against consumption.
Fluoride’s Toxic Effects on the Thyroid
The same strengthening bonds that make tooth enamel strong, can have a detrimental effect on our thyroid gland. The thyroid has its own delicate ecosystem that is fueled by the food and drinks in our diet. A chemical reaction in the brain’s pituitary gland produces thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) to tell the thyroid to work based on how much iodine it absorbs from food. Consider iodine the body’s sample size to determine how much food is imbibed and needs to be burned. Fluoride’s chemical strength can interfere with the process in three different ways.
- The most severe interference comes in the form of thyroid calcification. This happens for much the same reason that teeth are strengthened (calcified) when bonded with fluoride. The fluoride creates a stronger bond than iodine ions, and thyroid function is essentially terminated.
- Fluoride can block iodine from ever reaching the thyroid by absorbing and changing its chemical properties before it reaches that phase of digestion.
- Fluoride can reroute iodine to other parts of the body where iodine may be unnecessary or harmful.
Usually, our bodies have checks and balances to restore the natural order of iodine absorption, but increased amounts of fluoride in our system makes it more and more difficult for our bodies to properly control iodine delivery to the thyroid and thyroid function by the pituitary gland. Interrupted thyroid activity can adversely affect the entire body most significantly by raising or lowering the rate of calorie consumption, heart rate, or body temperature.
Is it Really Hurting Anyone?
Since water fluoridation began, hypothyroidism (the slowing of thyroid production) has increased significantly. Recent studies have reported conflicting numbers of suffers in the United States some reports stating that 30% of the population suffers from the disease and others reporting an astronomical 50%.
The difference is in hidden in the numbers. Thyroid production is on a spectrum there’s no magical amount of thyroid production, but studies show on a 1 to 10 scale, anywhere from 3 to 6 should be considered a “normal” range. Anything below is hypothyroidism and anything above is hyperthyroidism. The problem is that some research bases its result on whether patients produce at a level 3 or lower which places 20% of the population, not an insignificant percentage when you consider that roughly 9% of Americans have diabetes. However, studies that determine health thyroid production should really be considered at a 4 or 5 and the 3 and 6 should be considered “borderline” report that an unbelievable 50% of Americans should be considered to suffer from hypothyroidism.
What Can I Do?
First, check your local water system to determine whether your water is fluoridated. If it is, look into water purification systems that specifically work to remove fluoride. Most off the rack systems do not filter for fluoride, so know what you’re investing in. You can also consider purchasing water that does not contain fluoride. Next, spread the word about water fluoridation, and why it’s harmful. There are numerous organizations that speak out against fluoridation. Find out if they’re working in your community.