Dental Problems

Community Water Fluoridation

Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting fluoride content in community water to improve dental health. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.Community water fluoridation has been rated as one of ten greatest achievements in public health by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Benefits of fluoride

Fluoride prevents tooth decay, also known as dental caries. The role of fluoride in preventing tooth decay was discovered in 1930.Scientists observed that people who consumed water containing naturally occurring fluoride had less tooth decay than others. This gave them the idea of adding fluoride to community water.Fluoride works by stopping, or even reversing, the process of decaying. It keeps the tooth enamel strong.Tooth decay is caused by bacteria produced when we eat a food containing sugar. These bacteria produce acids that remove minerals from the surface of the teeth. This is called demineralization.If demineralization goes on, decay and cavities will result. Fluoride helps by promoting mineralization, thus stopping any damage to the teeth. Fluoride also reduces the ability of bacteria to produce acids.Fluoride can be obtained in many ways. Fluoridated tooth paste, mouth rinses, supplements such as tablets, lorenzes or drops and water containing natural or added fluoride.

Why community water fluoridation?

Community water fluoridation is the cheapest and most efficient way to ensure constant fluoride supply to all. In the U.S, 69% of the population gets fluoridated water.Countries in which fluoridated water is supplied, like United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland, tooth decays have been reduced by upto 40%. Initially, water fluoridation was thought to help children. But it has been found that it helps adults equally.

Dental Fluorosis problem

In China and India, millions of people suffer from fluorosis, which occurs due to consumption of water with excessive fluoride. Fluorosis affects the bones.Concerns are being voiced in the U.S as to whether the consumption of fluoride is safe. Some researchers say that the numerous arthritis cases in the country could actually be fluorosis. Also, many children in the U.S are being affected by dental fluorosis.There is a lack of awareness and research on the complete effects of water fluoridation and consumption of fluoride.

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