November 9, 2011
By Andre Evans
“To learn more about the dangers of fluoride, see this web site.” –KTRN
It was only a few years ago that if you labeled fluoride as a dangerous substance, you would be laughed at and scorned. For years, a select minority of individuals were the only ones raising the awareness of this health concern. Their cries have been and continue to be met with dissonance, despite the fact that the public’s opinion on fluoride has changed much in just a short time. In fact, even the United States government has called for lower levels of water fluoridation following a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, which found that increased fluoride consumption led to decreased IQ in children.
Communities are attempting to end water fluoridation, mainstream news is acknowledging its negative effects, and even a number of professional dentists have recognized the dangers of fluoride, and spoken out against its use and distribution. Most recently, the Palmer City Council of Alaska passed an ordinance repealing the town’s water fluoridation mandate.
Mainstream dentistry and oral health has been the vehicle through which sodium fluoride, a chemical byproduct of fluorine has been injected into our everyday lives. Said to ‘fight tooth decay’ and ‘strengthen enamel,’ it has been proliferated into nearly every form of toothpaste. Dentists also apply fluoride topically to teeth during routine visits to produce said effects. It has been added to municipal water supplies since the early 1900s, under the same premise of aiding oral health and hygiene.
Despite this, fluoride has a notoriously negative track record in terms of how it is used, and the products that use it as an active ingredient. While being used in toothpaste and various mouth washes, fluoride is also the main ingredient in many rat poisons, Prozac (an anti-depressant found to actually lead to suicide and other health conditions), and is even labeled as a toxic substance.
In fact, the safety precautions regarding sodium fluoride are quite telling themselves:
November 9th, 2010
By: Denise Mann
Heart attack and stroke risk may rise in the month following invasive dental treatments such as tooth extractions, a study shows.
The risk returns to normal levels within six months, according to the study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
This is not the first time oral health and heart health have been linked, and the likely culprit is inflammation. The theory is that bacteria from periodontal infection can enter your bloodstream. Once this occurs, the bacteria accumulate along the blood vessels, causing inflammation, which can make people more vulnerable to heart attacks and stroke.
“These findings provide further evidence to support the link between acute inflammation and the risk for vascular events,” conclude the study researchers, who were led by Caroline Minassian, MSc, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “The short-lived adverse effects are nevertheless likely to be outweighed by long-term benefits of invasive dental work.”
Researchers reviewed Medicaid claims data of 32,060 adults who had a heart attack or stroke, and then they backtracked to see if the person had undergone any invasive dental procedures. There were 650 people who had a stroke and 525 who had a heart attack after invasive dental work. The researchers took into account other factors known to increase risk for heart attack and stroke, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Those who underwent invasive dental work had an increased risk for heart attack or stroke in the four weeks after their procedure, but this risk was “transient,” the researchers report.
More than half of the heart attack and strokes seen in the study occurred in women, and 30% in people who were younger than 50, the study showed.
Howard Weitz, MD, director of the division of cardiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, says he is concerned that the new study will encourage people to avoid seeing their dentist out of fear of heart attack or stroke.
“Further work has to be done before we can say there is any link,” he says. Weitz co-authored an editorial that accompanied the new study.
The study has its share of limitations, he says. For starters, it was based on insurance claims data, so there could have been coding errors which would affect the findings.
“The next evaluation should be one where patient charts are pulled to confirm that the diagnoses were correct,” he tells WebMD. What’s more, the database only tracked prescription medications, not commonly used over-the-counter drugs.
Many people take low-dose aspirin every day to lower their risk for heart attack and stroke. Stopping aspirin could be a trigger for heart attack or stroke, he says.
“Some dentists tell patients to stop taking aspirin because it increases bleeding risk,” he says. “If your dentist suggests this, check with your primary care doctor or cardiologist first.”
“Don’t make any changes in your dental practice,” he says. “We have to go to the next chapter before we can even say this is a real risk.”
Don’t skip the dentist because you are concerned about your risk for heart attack or stroke, agrees Saul Pressner, a dentist in private practice in New York City. “This study provides more of a reason to see the dentist regularly and take care of your mouth so you are not at as much at risk for coronary events.”
Prevention is key. “It is always best not to let infections including gum disease or dental carries get out of hand because there can be systemic effects,” he says.