Letter: The Problem Is Fluoride Overuse

Regarding “Fluoridation Does Not Lower IQ” (Letters, Feb. 7), I found the letter both enlightening and rich in opinion of what has been both contentious and controversial.

If what is being discussed is additional fluoridation from a single source, I would be inclined, although not entirely convinced, of fluoride’s value.

What I’ve been led to understand from various sources, including the ADA, is that fluoride’s main benefit is found to be its value in hardening the enamel of teeth in young and developing children. Moreover, adults receive little benefit from fluoride, since their dental problems stem not from hardness of their enamel, but receding gums and gingivitis, which may have both kidney and cardiac implications.

The addition of fluoride to the water in the amounts suggested is not where problems may arise, but in the unmonitored total fluoride used to prevent cavities in young patients whose enamel has not reached sufficient hardness to resist disease.

There are many young people using fluoride toothpaste, using fluoride mouthwash and getting fluoride treatments by their dentists, and the long-term implications from using all these sources is unknown.

We are living longer, and many of our problems may be attributed to our longevity, but to declare something safe in any amount carries with it the responsibility of discovering error and links to existing diseases for which their etiology has, thus far, eluded us.

Richard Nielsen, Royal Palm Beach