The fluoride fight continues

By: Jessa Goddard
By: Jessa Goddard

(WVLT) As you heard from us yesterday, the South Blount Utility District is the latest in East Tennessee to approve the addition of fluoride to their water supply.

It's a decision that's rarely met without at least some opposition.

There's a lot of information out there about the health effects of fluoride exposure.

Volunteer TV's Jessa Goddard has more.

Dr. Larry Tragesser opened his family dentistry practice in Knoxville 28 years ago.

Just six years after the city of Knoxville added fluoride to its water supply.

"The difference in people in their level of decay at that time in about 1979 when i started versus today, it's reduced by at least 90 percent."

Tragesser says cavities used to be a fact of life.

But during the past few decades, tooth decay has been reduced dramatically, and the reason is fluoride.

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, but is often added to the drinking water supply to reduce cavities and repair the early stages of tooth decay.

"We used to see decay on almost every young person and certainly multiple areas of decay on many. Today, it's not uncommon that we can take a person through his teens without any decay."

Now, a group called the Fluoride Action Network is calling attention to an online action petition calling on congress to stop water fluoridation until hearings are conducted.

The group cites new scientific evidence that fluoridation is not only ineffective, but has serious health risks.

"Anytime people have something put in their drinking water that appears to be a chemical in nature, I suppose they have concerns about that."

Dr. Tragesser and the American Dental Association, for that matter, contend fluoride is not only extremely effective, and inexpensive but also safe at recommended levels for the vast majority of the population.

Children who ingest higher than recommended levels of fluoride may be at increased risk of mild to permanent discoloration of their developing teeth.

Your county health department should be able to tell you the fluoride content of the water you receive.

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  • by Mark Location: Knoxville on Jan 24, 2008 at 10:38 AM
    Congratulations, South Blount Utility District. You've finally accepted what dental and public health authorities have known for decades. Fluoridated water prevents tooth decay and when properly used, poses no known risk to patients. You will come to appreciate this wise decision more and more as fewer and fewer South Blount County residents develop tooth decay. Bravo!
  • by ann Location: England on Jan 24, 2008 at 09:21 AM
    South Blount would be wise not to add the chemical fluoride to water supplies. Fluorosilic acid is the chemical used. It's more poisonous than lead and only slightly less so than lead. It can cause permanent unsightly tooth mottling called fluorosis. Studies have shown increased hip fracture rates in artificially fluoridated areas. The American Dental Association, who promote fluoridation, have recently advised on their website that babies' formula milk should NOT be made up using fluoridated water.
  • by Dustin Location: Knoxville on Jan 24, 2008 at 01:56 AM
    Fluoride was used to make the atomic bomb in Oak Ridge and used to make rat poison. Google "The Fluoride Deception" and learn the history behind fluoride. Filter your water, quit using toothpaste with fluoride, and join the fight against this poisonous substance! More info here:
  • by nyscof Location: new york on Jan 23, 2008 at 03:58 PM
    In the fiscal year 2006-07: 139,310 children had a dental screening. From these screenings, a total of 35,109 children with unmet dental needs were referred for care. This is a referral rate of 25%. Tennessee is 96% fluoridated


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