Many tubes of toothpaste have a warning notice on the tube about fluoride. The fluoride in toothpaste is inconspicuous and is nowhere as nearly as brazen as the warnings may make it appear on tobacco products like cigarettes. So why does the warning exist? Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, but could prove to be a deadly toxin – easy to see why there is a warning. Many people switch to fluoride-free toothpaste from four side based toothpaste. Research is mixed, with the benefits slightly outweighing the dangers. The situation is somewhat complicated.
We started using fluoride in our lives in the 20th century by putting it in our water supply (known as fluoridation). A few years later, it was added to toothpaste. By the time we reached the new millennium, over 300 million people are fluoridated and are supposed to have taken care of tooth decay among 55% of the world’s population which have fluoride intake and 50% reduction of tooth decay among the people who have some kind of fluoride intake. Now, about 70% of people somehow consume fluoride.
Fluoride is primarily used to prevent tooth decay. It cripples the bacteria in plaque by inhibiting their ability to create acids which weaken the teeth. Fluoride can also re-mineralise the areas where acid damages have occurred. But fluoride is a toxin and needs to be moderated to truly benefit from it. Fortunately, overdosing can in no way lead to fatalities. People with too much fluoride can end up with dental fluorosis. There will be permanent discolouration, with streaks or spots across it. There are varying degrees of fluorosis depending on the usage of the toothpaste. But the problem itself is purely cosmetic and has very little effect on your actual health.
A study shows that 40% of adolescents have dental fluorosis. Many governments across the world are planning a decrease in fluoride content in water supplies and recommend the dental industry manufacturers to reduce fluoride levels in toothpaste.
It has been recommended that fluoride levels over the decades have somewhat negative effects. Sources for both parties show contradicting research – some say that there is no serious negative effect by using fluoride with the other party claiming that fluoride is a cause for all kinds of health issues like allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and lower IQ levels in children. The effects of toothpaste and water with fluoride have been regularly disputed, but most people agree on the fact that there is too much fluoride and levels of fluoride need to be reduced. But people have come to accept that fluoride now is more like a necessary evil, with the pros definitely outweighing the cons. We need to find a morally and scientifically acceptable level of fluoride in our systems. Your e111 may help deal with some side-effects of fluorosis. But a definite case exists for the prevention of sale of products with too much fluoride or any other potentially toxic additive. Companies, on their part, have started actively promoting and selling fluoride-free toothpaste. We seem like we’ll reach a consensus quicker than we imagined.