U.S. Public Health Service
National Institute of Dental Research
NIDR study shows no relationship between fluoridation and tooth decay rate.
By John A. Yiamouyiannis, (excerpted)
Data collected by the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) produced the largest and most extensive database ever used to determine whether there is a relationship between fluoridation and tooth decay.
Released on June 21, 1988, the $3,670,000 nationwide survey examined 39,207 U.S. school children aged 5-17 from 84 different geographical areas.
Of the 84 areas, 28 had been fluoridated for 17 years or more, 29 had never been fluoridated, and 27 had been only partially fluoridated or fluoridated for less than 17 years. Age-adjusted tooth decay rates for the permanent teeth of children were determined for each of the 84 areas which were then listed in the order of increasing tooth decay rates. The listing showed clearly that there was no relation between tooth decay rates and fluoridation. Ironically, the lowest tooth decay rate reported in the survey occurred in a nonfluoridated area.
The average number of decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth (DMFT) per child was 2.0 in the fluoridated areas, 2.0 in the nonfluoridated areas, and 2.2 in the partially fluoridated areas. The percentage of decay-free children in the fluoridated, nonfluoridated, and partially fluoridated areas was 34%, 35%, and 31%, respectively.
results compiled from an analysis of the data gathered by NIDR
were neither sought - nor reported in the NIDR release. At the
Safe Water Foundation, we extracted these results from the data
of the NIDR survey and submitted them to the journal, Comm. Dent.
Oral Epidemiol., for publication. After reviewing the manuscript
we submitted, Dr. Irwin Bross, the former Head of the Research,
Design, and Analysis unit of the Sloan-Kettering Institute, former
Director of Biostatistics of the Roswell Park Memorial Institute,
and the current President of Biomedical Metatechnology, commented:
Also making this venture less of a gamble were papers from Canada (Gray, A.S., J. Canadian Dent. Assoc. 53, 753-755 ), and New Zealand (Colquhoun, J., Community Dent. Oral Epidemiol. 13, 37-41 ), which showed that tooth decay in fluoridated areas was the same or slightly higher than in nonfluoridated areas. Both authors were public health officials who had previously been very active in promoting fluoridation. Based on his extensive research, Dr. Colquhoun concluded that fluoridation did not reduce tooth decay. His continuing research has documented many flaws and distortions in earlier studies claiming that fluoridation reduces tooth decay and has led him to take an active role against fluoridation.
reaction was indeed curious. In his paper, he stated, "Survey
results in British Columbia with only 11% of the population using
fluoridated water show lower DMFT [tooth decay] rates than provinces
with 40-70% of the population drinking fluoridated water"
and "school districts recently reporting the highest
caries-free rates in the province were totally unfluoridated."
From this he made the absurd conclusion that fluoridation is
probably only reducing tooth decay by 25%!
For the text of the full article by International Center for Nutritional Research