Saturday, November 21, 2015

No Valid Evidence Exists to Prove Fluoridation Works, say Researchers

After reviewing all available fluoridation studies, the independent and trusted UK-based Cochrane group of researchers could not find any quality evidence to prove fluoridation changes the “existing differences in tooth decay across socioeconomic groups.” Neither could they find valid evidence that fluoride reduces adults’ cavity rates nor that fluoridation cessation increases tooth decay, reports the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. (NYSCOF).

Fluoridation may reduce cavities in children (2 primary teeth or 1 permanent tooth). But Cochrane cautions these studies have “high risk of bias” and were mostly done before preventive measures were widespread, e.g. fluoridated toothpaste and sealants.

Diverting attention away from Cochrane, the Centers for Disease Control, which indirectly funded the Cochrane Review, and the American Dental Association defended fluoridation recommending instead the 2013 U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force’s Fluoridation Recommendation.

But the Task Force also admitted it couldn’t evaluate how race, ethnicity and total fluoride intake influenced fluoridation effectiveness because of limited data.Few studies provided data on socioeconomic status, and most studies had measurement issues; many didn’t blind examiners and there was a lack of consistency among indices used to measure caries."

Unlike the ADA and CDC Foundation, the Cochrane Group is “unconstrained by commercial and financial interests.”  Cochrane answered its critics here

Newsweek reports that scientists, who were assigned to review fluoridation research, are shocked at the lack of valid fluoridation-supporting evidence. Government agencies have a long history of minimizing reviews critical of fluoridation science.

Tooth decay crises are occurring in all fluoridated cities and states.  See http://www.FluorideNews.blogspot.com

Many researchers looked, but couldn't find, any valid fluoridation supporting science.

In the 1940s and 1950s, dentists in their eagerness to have a magic bullet that would enhance their professional prestige, promoted fluoridation heavily and dismissed legitimate debate over the merits of fluoridation within the scientific, medical and dental communities, according to an American Journal of Public Health article by Catherine Carstairs, PhD (June 2015). 

Carstairs writes, “Moreover, some of the early fluoridation studies had methodological problems, which may have exaggerated their benefits.”

Carstairs concludes “After 70 years of investigation, there are still questions about how effective water fluoridation is at preventing dental decay and whether the possible risks are worth the benefits,” she writes. 

Also surprised by the lack of valid fluoridation science, John Doull, PhD, Chairman, US National Research Council fluoride panel that produced the groundbreaking 2006 fluoride toxicology report was quoted by Scientific American as saying:

“What the com­mittee found is that we’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride for many yearsfor too long, reallyand now we need to take a fresh look,” Doull says. “In the scientific community, people tend to think this is settled. I mean, when the U.S. surgeon general comes out and says this is one of the 10 greatest achievements of the 20th century, that’s a hard hurdle to get over. But when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these ques­tions are unsettled and we have much less infor­mation than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began. In the face of igno­rance, controversy is rampant.”

Maybe Doull was surprised  because voices of opposition have been suppressed since the early days of fluoridation, according to Chemical and Engineering News (1988). Journals rarely published articles critical of fluoride or fluoridation.
 
In the 1940s and 1950s, dentists in their eagerness to have a magic bullet that would enhance their professional prestige, promoted fluoridation heavily and dismissed legitimate debate over the merits of fluoridation within the scientific, medical and dental communities, according to an American Journal of Public Health article by Catherine Carstairs, PhD (June 2015). 

Carstairs writes, “Moreover, some of the early fluoridation studies had methodological problems, which may have exaggerated their benefits.”

Carstairs concludes “After 70 years of investigation, there are still questions about how effective water fluoridation is at preventing dental decay and whether the possible risks are worth the benefits,” she writes. 

Also surprised by the lack of valid fluoridation science, John Doull, PhD, Chairman, US National Research Council fluoride panel that produced the groundbreaking 2006 fluoride toxicology report was quoted by Scientific American as saying:

“What the com­mittee found is that we’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride for many yearsfor too long, reallyand now we need to take a fresh look,” Doull says. “In the scientific community, people tend to think this is settled. I mean, when the U.S. surgeon general comes out and says this is one of the 10 greatest achievements of the 20th century, that’s a hard hurdle to get over. But when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these ques­tions are unsettled and we have much less infor­mation than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began. In the face of igno­rance, controversy is rampant.”

Maybe Doull was surprised  because voices of opposition have been suppressed since the early days of fluoridation, according to Chemical and Engineering News (1988). Journals rarely published articles critical of fluoride or fluoridation.

In 2001, a National Institutes of Health (NIH)/CDC panel convened to evaluate tooth decay research, published between 1839 and 1965, and reported

 "... the panel was disappointed in the overall quality of the clinical data that it reviewed.  According to the panel, far too many studies were small, poorly described, or otherwise methodologically flawed" (over 560 studies evaluated fluoride use).

Even pro-fluoride dental researchers worried that the lack of evidence-based-dentistry practiced in the US will hurt their reputations. For example, Dentist Amid Ismail, when he was a Professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, in a report to the NIH panel wrote,

"If the current weak trend of caries research in the United States continues, history will be harsh on all of us for our failure to use our knowledge and resources to reduce, if not eliminate, the burden of one of the world's most prevalent diseases."

In 2001, Cohen and Locker reported that ffluoridation may be immoral with benefits exaggerated and risks minimized Journal of the Canadian Dental Association .   "Ethically, it cannot be argued that past benefits, by themselves, justify continuing the practice of fluoridation," they write.

A 1990 New York State  Department of Health report concluded

“The effectiveness of water fluoridation alone cannot now be determined…the effects of fluoride exposure cannot be accurately assessed based solely on the fluoride content of drinking water in an area”

In 1978, Pennsylvania Judge John P. Flaherty who had a science background, presided over a court case (Aikenhead v. Borough of West View), where fluoridation proponents were sworn under oath to tell the truth and were subjected to cross-examination. He concluded,

“In my view, the evidence is quite convincing that the addition of sodium fluoride to the public water supply at one part per million is extremely deleterious to the human body, and, a review of the evidence will disclose that there was no convincing evidence to the contrary...”

Most of the pro-fluoridationists who will speak and write to you will invariably use talking points provided by PR people and who also may have attended fluoridation spokesperson training.  They will use appeal to authority, political might, a list of organizations lobbied to endorse fluoridation and avoidance of risk discussion. Those opposed to fluoridation will always provide scientific and government’s evidence showing that fluoridation is ineffective, harmful and a huge waste of money. 

The bottom line is that fluoride is nether a nutrinet nor essential for healthy teeth.  No human is or every was fluoride deficient.  Like all drugs, fluoride has adverse effects.  Legislators should never be bullied to prescribe drugs to their entire constituency and dosed based on thirst and not age, health, weight and need

The crisis most Americans face is not lack of fluoride but lack of dentists.  Most dentists refuse to treat Medicaid patients and Medicare doesn't include dental care.  Dentistry has priced low-income Floridians out of the care they  need. So they seek care in hospital ER's costing taxpayers ten times the amount of a simple filling.