In recent years, studies have begun showing that the good-for-us mineral, fluoride, may be toxic in higher doses.
The US has been adding fluoride to its water sources for nearly 80 years, and many are now calling for less to be added, due to overexposure now that fluoride can be found in many dental products, in fillings, in our food, and in modern pharmaceuticals.
What signs should you be looking for if you suspect you're getting too much fluoride intake? There are several to watch for.
Effects of Too Much Fluoride
Fluoride Toxicity- Accidental ingestion of large amounts of fluoride (such as is present in pesticides, or even large amounts of swallowed toothpaste) can cause acute toxicity. Symptoms include gastrointestinal discomfort. Only in extreme cases can it result in death.
Dental Fluorosis - Shows up as discoloration of the teeth. This is generally due to excess fluoride exposure at early ages as permanent teeth are developing. Tooth enamel can become brittle and it can even cause pitting under the tooth's surface.
Demineralization - As adding fluoride to the diet strengthens bones, excess fluoride can weaken them in a process called demineralization. Tooth decay and osteoporosis are both results.
Renal Damage - Fluoride in high concentrations is flushed from the body in the urine. This can damage the renal route and can even impact other filtering organs.
Stomach and Duodenum Ulcers - The stomach and duodenum use hydrogen fluoride to break down proteins and carbohydrates. When the body is exposed to too much fluoride, the lining of the stomach can be damaged, resulting in ulcers and gastric erosion.
Dental fluorosis is the least serious effect of over-fluoridation, but all of these are reasons to contact our office for further guidance if you suspect you are suffering from any of these issues.
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