Fluoride Can Be Toxic ( in Large Doses )
Healthy teeth and bones require fluoride, but if taken in a large quantity, fluoride can become toxic. Toxicity can either be chronic or acute. Anyone suffering from acute fluoride toxicity will have ingested too much fluoride within a brief period, and this can produce a long list of symptoms, including:
What are the Primary Symptoms of Fluoride Toxicity?
- Suffering from abdominal pain or diarrhea
- Vomiting or feeling nauseous
- Feeling weak or noticing the muscles in your hands and feet go into involuntary spams
- Seeing your blood pressure drops and your pulse becomes weak
- Having difficulty catching your breath
If these early symptoms go untreated, there is the possibility that it could result in cardiac failure, and the patient could slip into a coma or even die.
Other Symptoms of Fluoride Toxicity
Other symptoms include having decreased calcium plasma levels and increased plasma potassium levels. One of the first things to do to reduce toxicity levels is to induce vomiting and give calcium orally, which will relieve intestinal symptoms. At this point, protocol requires, admittance to the hospital for cardiac monitoring.
What is a Lethal Dose of Fluoride?
Any amount between 32mg to 64mg per kg of body weight will be lethal. Amounts between 16mg and 32mg per kg of body weight will be toxic. Safe values are less than 16mg per kg of body weight.
What is Fluorosis?
Chronic fluoride toxicity can occur through decades of exposure and can cause several symptoms. Fluorosis is the most common sign of too much fluoride. Often whitish spots or streaks will appear on the teeth. Ingesting too much fluoride when the teeth are developing can cause fluorosis. Dentists frequently recommend parents avoid fluoridated toothpaste for young infants.
What is Skeletal Fluorosis?
When fluoride and calcium treatment is the recommendation to stimulate bone growth, there is a risk of skeletal fluorosis. This skeletal fluorosis increases bone density, but also causes the bones to become more brittle, and is a progressive condition.
Is Fluoride Supplements Necessary?
During the last 60-years, the US has Fluoridated water as an inexpensive way to reduce the incidence of tooth decay. Recent studies have questioned its effectiveness. Countries without public water fluoridation have shown dental health improvements on par with countries that use it.
The advancement in dental caries may relate more to access to affordable dental care, rather than water fluoridation.
More people use fluoridated products regularly, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, and don’t necessarily need it added to drinking water. Using fluoridated dental products ensures a low level of fluoride ions remain present in the saliva. The fluoride protects the teeth from cavities, but it is always wise to discuss their use with your dentist first. Do not use any fluoride supplements unless specifically recommended to do so.