Water fluoridation and oral health

Máiréad Antoinette Harding, Denis Martin O’Mullane

Abstract


Water fluoridation, is the controlled addition of fluoride to the water supply, with the aim of reducing the prevalence of dental caries. Current estimates suggest that approximately 370 million people in 27 countries consume fluoridated water, with an additional 50 million consuming water in which fluoride is naturally occurring. A pre-eruptive effect of fluoride exists in reducing caries levels in pit and fissure surfaces of permanent teeth and fluoride concentrated in plaque and saliva inhibits the demineralisation of sound enamel and enhances the remineralisation of demineralised enamel. A large number of studies conducted worldwide demonstrate the effectiveness of water fluoridation. Objections to water fluoridation have been raised since its inception and centre mainly on safety and autonomy. Systematic reviews of the safety and efficacy of water fluoridation attest to its safety and efficacy; dental fluorosis identified as the only adverse outcome. Conclusion: Water fluoridation is an effective safe means of preventing dental caries, reaching all populations, irrespective of the presence of other dental services. Regular monitoring of dental caries and fluorosis is essential particularly with the lifelong challenge which dental caries presents.

Keywords


Water fluoridation; Effectiveness; Dental caries; Fluorosis

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5644/ama2006-124.81

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


2016 Department of Medical Sciences, Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. All rights reserved.
 
The full text of articles published in this journal can be used free of charge for personal and educational purposes while respecting authors and publishers’ copyrights. For commercial purposes no part of this journal may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.