Fluoride in drinking water cuts tooth decay in adults

(Medical Xpress)—An international study conducted by researchers at the University of Adelaide has resulted in the strongest evidence yet that fluoride in drinking water provides dental health benefits to adults.

In the first population-level study of its kind in the world, researchers have found that fluoridated drinking water is preventing tooth decay for all adults regardless of age - and significantly for people who have had exposure to fluoride for most of their lives.

Conducted by the Australian Research Centre for Population (ARCPOH) at the University of Adelaide's School of Dentistry, the study adds to the established evidence that fluoride in drinking water has benefits for children.

The study looked at data from a random sample of 3800 Australians aged 15 and over. The results are now published online in the international .

"By looking right across the Australian population, we now have good evidence that fluoride in drinking water is effective in preventing tooth decay in adults," says co-author Professor Kaye Roberts-Thomson, Director of ARCPOH at the University of Adelaide.

"We've known for some time that fluoridated drinking water can prevent tooth decay in children, but this is the first time that research has conclusively shown this in an ."

The results show that adults with more than a 75% to water fluoridation have significantly reduced tooth decay (up to 30% less) when compared with those with less than 25% lifetime exposure.

"Those people who have had longer exposure to fluoride in water obviously will have the greater benefit. However, and this is an important aspect of the study, even those people who were born before water fluoridation existed have since received some benefit in their lifetimes," Professor Roberts-Thomson says.

"Given the ongoing controversy surrounding fluoridated water, especially in some parts of Australia, we should point out that the evidence is stacked in favour of long-term exposure to fluoride in drinking water. It really does have a significant dental health impact."

More information: jdr.sagepub.com/content/early/… /01/0022034513481190

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sweet drinks need tooth decay warning

Jan 30, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from the University of Adelaide say any health warnings about soft drinks should include the risk of tooth decay, following a new study that looks at the consumption of sweet ...

Drinking tap water may help you avoid dentist's drill

Apr 13, 2010

Tooth decay affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC states that tooth decay, if left untreated, can ...

Recommended for you

Oral health improves via education

Nov 25, 2014

Better integration with primary health care, community outreach programs and culturally appropriate family and community programs could improve Indigenous dental health in Western Australia, research suggests.

Pediatricians should be involved in oral health care

Nov 24, 2014

(HealthDay)—Pediatricians should perform oral health assessments and help maintain and restore oral health for the youngest children, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics ...

Poorest in society have eight fewer teeth

Nov 18, 2014

The poorest people in society have eight fewer teeth by their seventies than the richest, one of the biggest studies of its type ever undertaken has revealed.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.