The presence of fluoride in drinking water has been known to cause many health issues among children and adults. Many toothpaste brands use fluoride-free ingredients in their products. But, many among the general public are not aware of the reasons why one should use fluoride free toothpaste. So, why is fluoride bad for your health?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in Earth’s crust and is suitable for protecting teeth from cavities, but excess amounts of fluoride cause many health issues in people. Children are the most affected because of this mineral.
The problems related to fluoride usage were first discovered when it was added to the water supply to reduce tooth decay. It did prevent tooth decay, but people were experiencing skeletal fluorosis and dental fluorosis as time went by. Hence, the fluoride brought more damage than benefits to the society where it was added to the water supply.
This article discusses the characteristics of fluoride and how to use it properly.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in the Earth’s crust. It is found in the soil, air, and water. Fluoride can make teeth stronger and resistant to acids that cause cavities in teeth. Though this mineral has all these remarkable properties, it is also harmful to people in other ways.
<h2.What are the risks associated with the excess of fluoride?
If a child is exposed to a high concentration of fluoride when the teeth are developing, it will result in dental fluorosis. One suffering from this condition will find white streaks or spots on the tooth’s enamel.
Fluoride exposure can lead to a bone disease known as skeletal fluorosis. Exposure to fluoride for many years can cause pain and damage to joints. The bones sometimes become hardened and less elastic, which increases the risk of fractures. If the bones become thickened, it will lead to impaired joint mobility.
Excess fluoride is known to damage the parathyroid gland. And it will lead to hyperparathyroidism, which involves the uncontrolled secretion of parathyroid hormones.
This will ultimately deplete calcium in bone structures and lead to increased calcium levels in the blood. This makes the bone susceptible to fractures.
In 2017, a study suggested that exposure to fluoride before birth could lead to bad cognitive outcomes in adulthood. The study also strictly advised the usage of fluoride free toothpaste for children.
There are other health problems with fluoride.
- Cardiovascular problems, including arterial calcification, high blood pressure, cardiac insufficiency, and heart failure
- Acne and other skin issues
- Conditions affecting the joints and bones, like osteoarthritis, temporomandibular joint disorder, and bone cancer
- Thyroid dysfunction.
- Neurological problems such as ADHA.
- Excessive saliva: An adult or child can feel excessive saliva generating in their mouth.
- Abdominal pain: This is a common cause of fluoride exposure.
- Nausea and vomiting: If the exposure is too high, it makes you nauseous, requiring a medical emergency.
- Seizure and muscle spasm: It is rare but has happened to people with fluoride exposure.
A high level of fluoride can cause:
The fluoride in your toothpaste will not harm you much, but children up to 12 shouldn’t use fluoride-containing toothpaste.
For children, even a small quantity of fluoride is enough to cause the issues mentioned above. It is always advised to use fluoride free toothpaste, which is great for adults and kids.
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