The Cochrane Oral Health Group Evaluation of Water Fluoridation concludes: “Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities”. In a June 19, 2015 publication by the Cochrane Collaboration, researchers have concluded that:
“There is very little contemporary evidence, meeting the review’s inclusion criteria, that has evaluated the effectiveness of water fluoridation for the prevention of cavities”.
As a dental professional who has been admonished to refer to Cochrane Reviews as the gold standard of evidence-based scientific research, I implore all of my friends, family and colleagues to read the full review here.
You want science-you’ve got science.
Essentially, the group reviewed every study done on fluoridation that they could find and then chose only those that were the most comprehensive, well-designed and reliable.
Only three studies since 1975 were identified–of sufficient quality to be included–addressing the effectiveness of fluoridation.
Study co-author Anne-Marie Glenny, a health science researcher at Manchester University in the United Kingdom says:
“These papers determined that fluoridation does not reduce cavities to a statistically significant degree”.
One 2001 study covered in the Cochrane review of neighboring communities in British Columbia actually found that when fluoridation was stopped in one community, the number of cavities actually when down while the cavity rate in the fluoridated community remained the same!
Trevor Sheldon, the dean of the Hull York Medical School in the United Kingdom who lead an advisory board conducting a similar review in 2000 of water fluoridation puts it best:
“When you have a public health intervention that’s applied to everybody, the burden of evidence to know that people are likely to benefit and not to be harmed is much higher, since people can’t choose,” Sheldon says. Everybody drinks water, after all, mostly from the tap. “Public health bodies need to have the courage to look at this review,” says Sheldon, “and be honest enough to say that this needs to be reconsidered.”
“If fluoridation were to be submitted anew for approval today, nobody would even think about it due to the shoddy evidence of effectiveness and obvious downside of fluorosis”.
I challenge all of my colleagues at the ODHA and the CDHA to have the courage to read the above review and then tell me what you think! You can connect with me via email or telephone or leave a comment right here on the website.
Next month, I will tell you what well-known environmental activist, consumer advocate and legal consultant is getting involved in the fluoridation debate….stay tuned, as things are really heating up!
Until next time,