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Studies suggest good news for bone safety and water fluoridation

March 17, 2014

A trio of studies published since the fall reflects positive news for water fluoridation in relation to bone health.

The studies each cited ongoing controversy regarding fluoride consumption and its effect on human bones and aimed to clarify particular aspects of the uncertainty.

In a study published online Jan. 27 in the Journal of Dental Research, investigators reported findings suggesting that fluoride exposure at the typical levels for most U.S. adolescents in fluoridated areas do not have significant effects on bone mineral density. The study by University of Iowa researchers in the colleges of dentistry and public health assessed the associations between fluoride intake and bone measures in adolescents at age 15 years whose fluoride intake had been assessed since birth.

To read the article, "Effects of Life-long Fluoride Intake on Bone Measures of Adolescents: A Prospective Cohort Study," visit the Journal of Dental Research.

In a study published online Jan. 14 in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers at Newcastle University in Newcastle Upon Tyne, North East England, found no evidence of an association between osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma and the consumption of fluoridated drinking water. The study sought to examine whether there is an increased risk of primary bone cancer in association with living in areas with varying levels of fluoride in drinking water.

To view the study, "Is Fluoride a Risk Factor for Bone Cancer? Small Area Analysis of Osteosarcoma and Ewing Sarcoma Diagnosed Among 0-49-year-olds in Great Britain, 1980-2005" visit the International Journal of Epidemiology.

In a report published October 2013 in the Journal of Dental Research, researchers found no association between long-term fluoride exposure via drinking water and hip fracture. The analysis, one of the largest of its kind, studied more than half a million individuals who were regularly exposed to various fluoride levels in drinking water. Peggy Nasman, of the Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, led the study.

To view the study, "Estimated Drinking Water Fluoride Exposure and Risk of Hip Fracture: A Cohort Study," visit online. The ADA News also reported on this study in the Nov. 3, 2013, issue.

For more information on the benefits of community water fluoridation, visit ADA.org/fluoride.