Facts beat conspiracy about use of fluoride
To the editor:
I am sure Ms. Marjorie Shapiro had only the best intentions when she sent the letter to the editor about fluoride being a danger with the same enthusiasm and "fact-gathering" we have seen with the people opposing vaccinations (Eagle, May 9). I have to assume that she wanted to warn the general public about the conspiracy involving all the major medical, dental and government organizations purposely adding poison to the drinking water in the name of general health.
After the discovery that fluoride can reduce dental caries (tooth decay) 80 years ago and with over 70 percent of our nation's water containing the optimal amount of fluoride to prevent decay, I can only also assume that Ms. Shapiro understands how fluoride helps make the teeth more resistant to the acid formed by the combination of plaque and sugars. That she understands that the addition of fluoride to the water is the second most successful public health measure in this country next to adding vitamin D to milk. That she understands that dental caries is the most common chronic disease to afflict children.
That I am sure that after 80 years of fluoride use, she will be able to document and identify thousands if not millions of people who have suffered severe, if any, neurological and physical diseases from fluoride use, That there are many things that are good for you in small doses and harmful in large doses like the sun or water. That she has practiced dentistry for over 40 years in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas and seen the difference firsthand, and that she has taken the time to read the science backing up the use of fluoride and analyzes it in the real world not only the hypothetical one where conclusions are drawn from studies that do not mirror how fluoride is used and prescribed.
I looked at the websites that were in Ms. Shapiro's letter and I hope she will look at a article from Compound Interests, "Exploration of Everyday Chemical Compounds" (compoundchem.com/2014/07/22/fluoride). It talks about 35 countries that have artificial fluoride programs that affect 377 million people in addition to the 28 other countries that supply naturally fluoridated water to 280 million more people. Countries such as Germany, Switzerland and France, which do not fluoride water, instead add fluoride to table salt. More scientific information can be seen on websites of the American Dental Association, American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, among others.
When used correctly, I know fluoride works and is safe. My job is difficult enough without the false impression that Ms. Shapiro presents that dentists, physicians, and health care organizations are willingly prescribing something to the public that not only is ineffective but is dangerous.
Fortunately, the great majority of my patients follow my recommendation and use fluoride. I would love to see fluoridation in Berkshire County as well and have us join the rest of the state and country that have seen the benefits of fluoridation.
And if I am not successful, I'll toast their win with a sugary Kool-Aid drink and a Fixodent chaser.
Louis Yarmosky, D.D.S., Pittsfield The writer practices with Yarmosky Pediatric Dentistry.