Fluoride - A Brief History (?*)


Note Second Viewpoint: Link at foot of page
re: Fluoride Deception


1909: Fluoride research commenced as a result of a quest to explain 'Colorado Brown Stain', the name given to explain grotesque brown stains on the teeth of natives of Colorado Springs, USA.

Frederick McKay, a young dental school graduate from the East, had not encountered anything in dental literature that mentioned this condition.

He was joined by an intrigued renowned dental researcher, Dr. G.V. Black after he read the Colorado Springs Dental Society study showing that almost 90 percent of the city's locally born children had signs of the brown stains.

Dr. Black spent considerable time walking on the streets, chatting with children about their play. He was gaining general information on this deformity. He found it everywhere; he realized it was life-long.

It did not disappear with the baby teeth.

2 Crucial Discoveries by 1915

Until his death in 1915, Black and McKay made 2 crucial discoveries:

1. Mottled enamel (as Black referred to the condition) resulted from developmental imperfections in children's teeth. This finding meant that city residents whose permanent teeth had calcified without developing the stains did not risk having their teeth turn brown; young children waiting for their secondary set of teeth to erupt, however, were at high risk.

2. Teeth afflicted by Colorado Brown Stain were surprisingly and inexplicably resistant to decay.

A Theory About the Water

McKay had a theory stimulated by suggestions by some residents that there may be something in the water supply that mottled the teeth. I wonder....?

A Kick-start for the Water-Causation Theory

1923: McKay traveled across the Rockies to Oakley, ID to investigate peculiar brown stains parents were noticing on their children's teeth.

Apparently stains started appearing shortly after Oakley had constructed a communal water pipeline to a warm spring 5 miles away.

McKay studied the water; while he could not find anything suspicious, he recommended the Town source their water from a nearby spring instead.

Several years later, children were growing secondary teeth with no more evidence of mottling.

Suspicions confirmed: - the water was the source of the problem. There was no clue as to “WHY”.

Some time later, Dr. McKay had his answer.

The Aluminum Connection

Along with Dr. Grover Kempf of the United States Public Health Service (PHS), he traveled to Bauxite, Arkansas - a company town owned by the Aluminum Company of America - to investigate reports of the familiar brown stains.

They discovered the mottled enamel disorder was prevalent among the children of Bauxite, but nonexistent in another town only five miles away. McKay's analysis of the Bauxite water supply provided no clues.

Their work resulted in a published report that found its way to ALCOA's chief chemist, H. V. Churchill, at the Pennsylvania company home office. Apparently Churchill had spent the past few years refuting claims that aluminum cookware was poisonous, worried that this report might provide fresh fodder for ALCOA's detractors. He conducted his own tests of the water in Bauxite using photospectrographic analysis. The conclusive finding: the town's water had high levels of fluoride.

In January 1931, Churchill arranged to collaborate with McKay who collected water samples from other towns which experienced similar dental trouble in the hopes of discovering how fluorine fitted into the picture. The samples proved that high levels of water-borne fluoride indeed caused the discoloration of tooth enamel.

More Study - New Questions about Fluoride

Soon after this discovery PHS scientists commenced a deeper study into the effects of water-borne fluoride.

1931: Dr. H. Trendley Dean, head of the Dental Hygiene Unit at the National Institute of Health (NIH) became the architect of these initial fluoride studies of all aspects of fluorosis.

Q#1: How high can fluoride be in drinking water before fluorosis occurred.

Within 2 years, Dean's Team developed a state-of-the-art method to measure fluoride levels in water with an accuracy of 0.1 parts per million (ppm).

After conducting tests across the country – towards end of 1930's – this discovery.

Fluoride levels of up to 1.0 ppm in drinking water:

  • did not cause enamel fluorosis in most people and

  • only mild enamel fluorosis in a small percentage of people.

    Proof That Fluoride Prevents Caries

    Dean recalled earlier McKay/Black findings on fluorosis that mottled tooth enamel is unusually resistant to decay.

    Q#2: Could tooth decay be fought by adding fluoride to drinking water at physically and cosmetically safe levels?

    A test was required.

    1945: Grand Rapids, MI became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water.

    1948: The NDIR superseded the U.S. Surgeon General's fluoridation study. For the next 15-years, the rate of tooth decay was monitored in 30,000 schoolchildren.

    Amazing finding:

    The caries rate among Grand Rapids children born after fluoride was added to the water supply dropped more than 60 percent.

    This finding, considering the thousands of participants in the study, amounted to a giant scientific breakthrough that promised to revolutionize dental care, making tooth decay for the first time in history a preventable disease for most people.

    A Lasting Achievement

    Fluoride continues to be dental science's main weapon in the battle against tooth decay.

  • Most toothpaste products on the market contain fluoride as the active ingredient;

  • Water fluoridation projects currently benefit over 200 million Americans,

  • 13 million schoolchildren now participate in school-based fluoride mouth rinse programs.

    Dentistry became transformed into a prevention-oriented profession.


    Special thanks to National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for the above information.


    *And now comes another 'documented' viewpoint. ....
    Which is more credible?


    F Y I

    Fluoridation Deception


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