Your thyroid may be small, but problems with your thyroid can cause big problems throughout the body. Thyroid conditions affect approximately 30 million Americans, half of whom suffer undiagnosed. Thyroid damage and irregularities can lead to unexplained weight gain, weight loss, fatigue, hair loss, and depression, among other debilitating side effects. An underactive thyroid, a condition called hypothyroidism, can also lead to numerous oral health issues, including an elevated risk of gum disease, dry mouth, tooth decay and cavities, an enlarged or swollen tongue, and a distorted sense of taste.
At once ironic and troubling, some recent studies have shown that fluoridated water, a common way public health authorities try to improve oral health, may actually lead to thyroid problems which can have significant negative impacts on oral health and overall well-being.
British Study Makes Connection Between Fluoridated Water and Thyroid Problems
A 2015 British study led by Stephen Peckham, Director, Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent, found a correlation between the amount of fluoride in public drinking water and the rate of hypothyroidism among those who consume such water.
The study found that in areas of England where tap water fluoride levels exceeded 0.3 milligrams per liter, the risk for having an underactive thyroid rose by a whopping 30 percent. It also found that hypothyroidism rates were almost double in urban areas that had fluoridated tap water, compared with regions that did not.
In many respects, it should not be surprising that fluoride can cause thyroid functioning to slow down significantly. That is because fluoride was used expressly for that purpose in the first half of the 20th Century. Low doses of fluoride were commonly prescribed as was a treatment for an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
The U.S Fluoridates Water at a High Rate While Other Countries Abandon the Practice
Many other industrialized countries such as Japan and most of Western Europe have stopped adding fluoride to their water supplies due to health concerns as well as skepticism about the effectiveness of fluoridated water as a way to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Nevertheless, the United States still adds fluoride to municipal water supplies reaching nearly 211 million Americans. As of 2012, more than 67 percent of Americans receive fluoridated water.
What Should You Do?
If you have concerns about your thyroid, you should consult a physician to discuss your condition. But there are also many natural remedies that can improve thyroid health.
Additionally, when looking for a dentist, find one who practices holistic dentistry and understands the health risks associated with potentially harmful substances such as fluoride and mercury fillings. At Assure A Smile, our holistic dental practice uses neither fluoride nor mercury in any procedures, so you can rest assured knowing that your trips to the dental office will never expose you to toxic chemicals that may adversely affect thyroid health.
Assure A Smile: Miami Holistic Dentistry
At Assure A Smile, we partner with our patients to help them develop healthy, natural, and effective oral hygiene habits as part of an overall wellness strategy and holistic healthcare approach. To learn more about the importance of holistic healthcare and how to develop healthier habits for a better you, please contact us online or call us at 305-274-0047.