Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in tap water, toothpaste, and many other household products. While the benefits of fluoride are well-documented, it's essential to understand the dangers of ingesting too much fluoride through ingestion or topical application. Read on for more information about the dangers of fluoride ingestion.
Fluoride's primary benefit is its ability to help prevent tooth decay by strengthening the enamel on teeth. However, too much fluoride can cause a condition known as fluorosis that leaves teeth with brown or white spots and makes them more susceptible to staining from coffee, tea, soda, and red wine.
While fluoride effectively prevents tooth decay by strengthening enamel, it can also damage teeth if too much of the mineral seeps through to the inner layers where sensitive nerves and blood vessels are located. Tooth decay from exposure to excess fluoride can be excruciatingly painful for those afflicted. In addition to being harmful when ingested, topical application of fluoride-containing products such as toothpaste might pose a danger because they contain chemicals that suppress your immune system, which could cause serious health problems down the road. These risks include everything from acne outbreaks and dermatitis to organ damage and even cancer!
Fluoride can also negatively affect your bones and teeth when applied topically. According to the European Committee for Standardization, fluoride in its synthetic form is a carcinogenic substance that could cause bone cancer known as osteosarcoma. There have been studies linking higher levels of fluoride exposure from toothpaste with increased rates of this type of cancer.
Skeletal Weakness (kids)
Fluoride is hazardous to children for this reason. Children are more susceptible to fluoride poisoning because their bodies absorb up to 150% of the amount of ingested fluoride compared with an adult body's absorption rate, which means that little ones could quickly ingest too much toothpaste by mistake or eat too many sweets containing high levels of fluoride like candies and popsicles. This can cause serious issues later on in life when it comes time to start building healthy teeth.
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