The effect of water fluoridation and social inequalities on dental caries in 5-year-old children.
BACKGROUND: Many studies have shown that water fluoridation dramatically reduces dental caries, but the effect that water fluoridation has upon reducing dental health inequalities is less clear. The aim of this study is to describe the effect that water fluoridation has upon the association between material deprivation and dental caries experience in 5-year-old children. METHODS: It is an ecological descriptive study of dental caries experience using previously obtained data from the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry's biennial surveys of 5-year-old children. This study examined the following data from seven fluoridated districts and seven comparable non-fluoridated districts in England: 1) dental caries experience using the dmft (decayed, missing, filled teeth) index; 2) the Townsend Deprivation Index of the electoral ward in which the child lived; 3) whether fluoride was present at an optimal concentration in the drinking water or not. RESULTS: A statistically significant interaction was observed between material deprivation (measured by the Townsend Deprivation Index) and water fluoridation (P < 0.001). This means that the social class gradient between material deprivation and dental caries experience is much flatter in fluoridated areas. CONCLUSION: Water fluoridation reduces dental caries experience more in materially deprived wards than in affluent wards and the introduction of water fluoridation would substantially reduce inequalities in dental health. (+info)
Water fluoridation and costs of Medicaid treatment for dental decay--Louisiana, 1995-1996.
Treatment costs for dental decay in young children can be substantial, especially if extensive dental procedures and general anesthesia in a hospital operating room (OR) are needed. Because caries in the primary dentition disproportionately affect children from low-income households, the cost for care frequently is reimbursed by state Medicaid programs. To determine whether the average treatment cost for Medicaid-eligible children in Louisiana differed by community fluoridation status, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) and CDC analyzed Medicaid dental reimbursements and Medicaid eligibility records from July 1995 through June 1996 for children aged 1-5 years. Findings suggest that Medicaid-eligible children in communities without fluoridated water were three times more likely than Medicaid-eligible children in communities with fluoridated water to receive dental treatment in a hospital OR, and the cost of dental treatment per eligible child was approximately twice as high. (+info)
Systematic review of water fluoridation.
OBJECTIVE: To review the safety and efficacy of fluoridation of drinking water. DESIGN: Search of 25 electronic databases and world wide web. Relevant journals hand searched; further information requested from authors. Inclusion criteria were a predefined hierarchy of evidence and objectives. Study validity was assessed with checklists. Two reviewers independently screened sources, extracted data, and assessed validity. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Decayed, missing, and filled primary/permanent teeth. Proportion of children without caries. Measure of effect was the difference in change in prevalence of caries from baseline to final examination in fluoridated compared with control areas. For potential adverse effects, all outcomes reported were used. RESULTS: 214 studies were included. The quality of studies was low to moderate. Water fluoridation was associated with an increased proportion of children without caries and a reduction in the number of teeth affected by caries. The range (median) of mean differences in the proportion of children without caries was -5.0% to 64% (14.6%). The range (median) of mean change in decayed, missing, and filled primary/permanent teeth was 0.5 to 4.4 (2.25) teeth. A dose-dependent increase in dental fluorosis was found. At a fluoride level of 1 ppm an estimated 12.5% (95% confidence interval 7.0% to 21.5%) of exposed people would have fluorosis that they would find aesthetically concerning. CONCLUSIONS: The evidence of a beneficial reduction in caries should be considered together with the increased prevalence of dental fluorosis. There was no clear evidence of other potential adverse effects. (+info)
Community water fluoridation, bone mineral density, and fractures: prospective study of effects in older women.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether fluoridation influences bone mineral density and fractures in older women. DESIGN: Multicentre prospective study on risk factors for osteoporosis and fractures. SETTING: Four community based centres in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: 9704 ambulatory women without bilateral hip replacements enrolled during 1986-8; 7129 provided information on exposure to fluoride. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Bone mineral density of the lumbar spine, proximal femur, radius, and calcaneus plus incident fractures (fractures that occurred during the study) of vertebrae, hip, wrist, and humerus. RESULTS: Women were classified as exposed or not exposed or having unknown exposure to fluoride for each year from 1950 to 1994. Outcomes were compared in women with continuous exposure to fluoridated water for the past 20 years (n=3218) and women with no exposure during the past 20 years (n=2563). In women with continuous exposure mean bone mineral density was 2.6% higher at the femoral neck (0.017 g/cm(2), P<0.001), 2.5% higher at the lumbar spine (0.022 g/cm(2), P<0.001), and 1.9% lower at the distal radius (0.007 g/cm(2), P=0.002). In women with continuous exposure the multivariable adjusted risk of hip fracture was slightly reduced (risk ratio 0.69, 95% confidence interval 0.50 to 0.96, P=0.028) as was the risk of vertebral fracture (0.73, 0.55 to 0.97, P=0.033). There was a non-significant trend toward an increased risk of wrist fracture (1.32, 1.00 to 1.71, P=0.051) and no difference in risk of humerus fracture (0.85, 0.58 to 1.23, P=0.378). CONCLUSIONS: Long term exposure to fluoridated drinking water does not increase the risk of fracture. (+info)
Optimal fluoridation--The concept and its application to municipal water fluoridation.
Optimal fluoridation has been defined as that fluoride exposure which confers maximal cariostasis with minimal toxicity and its values have been previously determined to be 0.5 to 1 mg per day for infants and 1 to 1.5 mg per day for an average child. Total fluoride ingestion and urine excretion were studied in Marin County, California, children in 1973 before municipal water fluoridation. Results showed fluoride exposure to be higher than anticipated and fulfilled previously accepted criteria for optimal fluoridation. Present and future water fluoridation plans need to be reevaluated in light of total environmental fluoride exposure. (+info)
Association of Down's syndrome and water fluoride level: a systematic review of the evidence.
BACKGROUND: A review of the safety and efficacy of drinking water fluoridation was commissioned by the UK Department of Health to investigate whether the evidence supported a beneficial effect of water fluoridation and whether there was any evidence of adverse effects. Down's syndrome was one of the adverse effects reported. The aim of this review is to examine the evidence for an association between water fluoride level and Down's syndrome. METHODS: A systematic review of research. Studies were identified through a comprehensive literature search, scanning citations and online requests for papers. Studies in all languages which investigated the incidence of Down's syndrome in areas with different levels of fluoride in their water supplies were included. Study inclusion and quality was assessed independently by 2 reviewers. A qualitative analysis was conducted. RESULTS: Six studies were included. All were ecological in design and scored poorly on the validity assessment. The estimates of the crude relative risk ranged from 0.84 to 3.0. Four studies showed no significant associations between the incidence of Down's syndrome and water fluoride level and two studies by the same author found a significant (p < 0.05) positive association (increased Down's syndrome incidence with increased water fluoride level). Only two of the studies controlled for confounding factors and only one of these presented summary outcome measures. CONCLUSIONS: The evidence of an association between water fluoride level and Down's syndrome incidence is inconclusive. (+info)
Regression analysis of cancer incidence rates and water fluoride in the U.S.A. based on IACR/IARC (WHO) data (1978-1992). International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Age-specific and age-standardized rates (ASR) of registered cancers for nine communities in the U.S.A. (21.8 million inhabitants, mainly white) were obtained from IARC data (1978-82, 1983-87, 1988-92). The percentage of people supplied with "optimally" fluoridated drinking water (FD) obtained from the Fluoridation Census 1985, U.S.A. were used for regression analysis of incidence rates of cancers at thirty six sites (ICD-WHO, 1957). About two-thirds of sites of the body (ICD) were associated positively with FD, but negative associations were noted for lip cancer, melanoma of the skin, and cancers of the prostate and thyroid gland. In digestive organs the stomach showed only limited and small intestine no significant link. However, cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, colon and rectum, hepato-biliary and urinary organs were positively associated with FD. This was also the case for bone cancers in male, in line with results of rat experiments. Brain tumors and T-cell system Hodgkin's disease, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, melanoma of the skin and monocytic leukaemia were also correlated with FD. Of the 36 sites, 23 were positively significant (63.9%), 9 not significant (25.0%) and 4 negatively significant (11.1%). This may indicate a complexity of mechanisms of action of fluoride in the body, especially in view of the coexising positive and negative correlations with the fluoridation index. The likelihood of fluoride acting as a genetic cause of cancer requires consideration. (+info)
Recommendations for using fluoride to prevent and control dental caries in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Widespread use of fluoride has been a major factor in the decline in the prevalence and severity of dental caries (i.e., tooth decay) in the United States and other economically developed countries. When used appropriately, fluoride is both safe and effective in preventing and controlling dental caries. All U.S. residents are likely exposed to some degree to fluoride, which is available from multiple sources. Both health-care professionals and the public have sought guidance on selecting the best way to provide and receive fluoride. During the late 1990s, CDC convened a work group to develop recommendations for using fluoride to prevent and control dental caries in the United States. This report includes these recommendations, as well as a) critical analysis of the scientific evidence regarding the efficacy and effectiveness of fluoride modalities in preventing and controlling dental caries, b) ordinal grading of the quality of the evidence, and c) assessment of the strength of each recommendation. Because frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride each day will best reduce the risk for dental caries in all age groups, the work group recommends that all persons drink water with an optimal fluoride concentration and brush their teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. For persons at high risk for dental caries, additional fluoride measures might be needed. Measured use of fluoride modalities is particularly appropriate during the time of anterior tooth enamel development (i.e., age <6 years). The recommendations in this report guide dental and other health-care providers, public health officials, policy makers, and the public in the use of fluoride to achieve maximum protection against dental caries while using resources efficiently and reducing the likelihood of enamel fluorosis. The recommendations address public health and professional practice, self-care, consumer product industries and health agencies, and further research. Adoption of these recommendations could further reduce dental caries in the United States and save public and private resources. (+info)