According to the UK Government’s systematic scientific review on water fluoridation, carried out at York University, some 48% of people living in areas with fluoridated water are affected by dental fluorosis. In England, this translates to nearly three million individuals who have fluorosed teeth to some degree. For three quarters of a million people, dental fluorosis is of the “moderate to severe” degree. [McDonagh MS, Whiting PF, Wilson PM, Sutton AJ, Chestnutt I, Cooper J, Misso K, Bradley M, Treasure E, Kleijnen J. Systematic review of water fluoridation. BMJ 2000; 321: pp.855-9]
Fluorosis is increasing significantly in areas with and without artificially fluoridated water and is caused by over-exposure to fluorides from all sources, e.g. fluoridated water, fluoride toothpaste, mouth rinses, drops, tablets, gels, sealants and fluoridated school milk programmes. Fluorides are also found in foodstuffs, beverages, (particularly tea), medicines, anesthetics, pesticides, herbicides and in the polluted air we breathe.
In 1985, following a review commissioned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an independent panel of behavioral scientists found that people with moderate to severe fluorosis are at increased risk of experiencing psychological and behavioral problems. [Drinking Water Regulations; Fluoride. 50 Fed. Reg. 220, 47144 (1985), Welbury, P, Shaw, L. A simple technique for removal of mottling, opacities and pigmentation. Dental Update 1990; 17: 161-3]
Signs, symptoms & indicators of Fluoride Toxicity:
- Cardiovascular — Heart racing/palpitations
- Constant/frequent thirst — Excessive thirst (and resultant frequent urination) can be early warning signs of fluorosis.
- Difficulty swallowing / Weak appetite — Loss of appetite is an early sign of fluorosis.
- Gastro-intestinal — Frequent/regular unexplained nausea. Nausea is an early sign of fluoride toxicity.
- Constant fatigue — Unusual and excessive sleepiness/fatigue.
- Vision disturbances — (High) sensitivity to bright light
- Occassional/frequent ‘chills’ — symptoms include body temperature disturbances and cold shivers.
- Hyperactivity / Restlessness
- Having trouble concentrating — Learning disorders, difficulty concentrating, incoherence, memory loss and confusion.
- Reduced/poor mental clarity; Frequent/occasional; confusion/disorientation; learning disability
- Individual weak muscles — Early warning signs include loss of muscle power, weakness and pain.
- Nervousness — Numb/tingling/burning extremities
- Respiratory — Deep chest pain; Shortness of breath
- Skeletal — Joint pain/swelling/stiffness