.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, April 01, 2005

Fighting tooth and nail for unpolluted water

The Western Mail this morning (I will hotlink it when they deign to post the article) report that seven out of 10 Welsh children have rotten teeth. Inevitably the British Dental Association immediately leapt to the wrong conclusion and argued that this means that fluoride must be poured into the water supply "to get Welsh children's teeth as healthy as England."

If this sounds too easy then that is because it is. We are all fond of instant solutions these days and often we will embrace a particular course of action because it seems painless, easy to achieve and most efficacious in every way. The reality is very different, because every action, particularly in the field of medicine, has a reaction.

In large enough doses fluoride is a poison. I read an article sometime ago that argued that fluoride affects the thyroid gland, causing teeth to grow more slowly. This therefore, also delays tooth decay. The author asserted that the real cause of cavities in teeth is the over-consumption of sugar in foods and drinks.

The average person consumes 150 pounds of sugar each year, that is the equivalent of approximately seventy five one kilogram bags or 33 tablespoons each day. Action to reduce the amount of sugar in processed food could have a dramatic effect on tooth decay without adding any unwanted substance to people's diet, but nobody seems to be advocating that.

The author of this article continued by asserting that fluroide suppresses the immune system and affects enzymes, disrupting many body functions. Fluoride poisoning can be seen through headaches, skin rashes, nausea, joint pains, mouth ulcers and allergic type reactions. In the long term it can lead to glaucoma, diabetes, kidney failure, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer and heart attacks. Infant mortality is increased and I.Q. is impaired. He asserted that the old, the young and the ill are most at risk

Adding fluoride to our water supply is an infringement of our civil liberties. I do not believe that it is the business of government to create a “nanny state”. I believe that people should be able to choose their own lifestyles and the form of medication they receive, not have it administered against their will through their taps.

There is an argument that the addition of fluoride to the water supply is an admission by medical professionals that they have failed to educate their patients and that they have failed to provide the necessary treatment to maintain the health of people’s teeth. People’s rights and liberties should not be compromised by that failure.

Instead of looking at these so-called "easy" solutions we need to invest in NHS dentistry and in dental education. Above all we need to provide the funding to encourage dentists to stop leaving the health service for private practise.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?