Tooth Decay Is Back - Fluoride's No Help
May 2, 2001

NEW YORK, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- "Tooth decay is back -- it's worse than ever -- it's coming to a tooth near you," said a dentist to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel convened to evaluate tooth decay research, March 2001. Most tooth decay research is poorly done, the panel concluded.

Despite water fluoridation, a glut of fluoridated products and skyrocketing children's fluoride overdose symptoms (dental fluorosis) in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities, tooth decay is still a major problem.

"While fluoride is proclaimed a significant cavity reducer, there is little, if any, science to support that," says lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. "Furthermore, there's no evidence that lack of fluoride puts children at high risk for cavities," he says.

An NIH news release supports Beeber's assertion: "... the (NIH) 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).

Tooth decay is epidemic in poor and minority populations, according to the Surgeon General, the same groups that suffer a disproportionately high amount of almost all recorded diseases including obesity and diabetes -- both linked to sugar overconsumption. Many poor continue to eat diets that lack several key nutrients and are high in fat and sugar, according to a study reported by Reuters Health on April 26, 2001. Dentists also report tooth decay increases in soda drinking children despite ingesting recommended fluoride.

Dental researcher, Professor Brian Burt, BDS, University of Michigan, reported to the NIH panel, "... avoiding consumption of excess sugar is a justifiable part of caries prevention, if not the most crucial aspect."

"We are wasting taxpayer dollars researching fluoride when, it's clear, that improper diet leads to tooth decay," says Beeber. "Sadly, fluoride's adverse effects hurt the malnourished the most, including neurological impairment, bone deformities, dental defects, thyroid dysfunction and more," he said.

Fluoride varnish is painted on young children's teeth in many U.S. head start programs even though the NIH panel found no research supports its effectiveness on primary teeth.

A toxic amount of fluoride (22.6 milligrams), painted on children's primary teeth, stays on for an hour or more.

"This is outrageous," said Beeber. "High levels of ingested fluoride before the age of seven can forever discolor the permanent teeth," he said. A prominent dental researcher says, "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," wrote Amid Ismail, BDS, Professor, University of Michigan School of Dentistry in a report to the panel.

NIH Consensus Panel:  Contact: Paul Beeber of NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, 516-433-8882,; Paul Connett, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, of St. Lawrence University, 315-379-9200,