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Water with Fluoride Reduces Adult Tooth Decay

A new study in Australia has produced very strong evidence on the dental health benefits of fluoride in drinking water to adults, even in those who did not drink water with fluoride as children.

Study lead author Gary Slade and colleagues from the University of Carolina and University of Adelaide analyzed a national survey data from about 3,800 adults aged 15 years and above that were randomly selected from the Australian population between 2004 and 2006.

Researchers measured the level of decay of the participants. The residential history reported by the participants since 1964 were matched to information relative to the fluoride levels in community water supplies. The research team determined the percentage of each participant’s lifetime in which the public water supply was fluoridated.

The results show that adults who had significantly less tooth decay have spent more than 75 percent of their lifetime living in communities that has fluoridated public water supply versus those who had lived less than 25 percent of their lifetime in such communities, according to the study published online in the Journal of Dental Research.

According to Slade, the study adds a new dimension to evidence regarding dental health benefits of fluoridation as it was previously thought that children who had fluoridated drinking water since birth are the only ones benefiting from it. He added that even if adults had fluoridated water after childhood, it still reduces tooth decay in them. In public health terms, it means more people benefit from fluoridated drinking water than previously thought.

Source:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fluoride in drinking water cuts tooth decay in adults, study shows. ScienceDaily.

 

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