More Fluoride Spin

Dental fluorosis picture
Examples of dental fluorosis in 8- and 9-year old children who grew up in fluoridated Auckland, New Zealand

By Spencer D Gear

It is interesting to observe what one professional did to support the status quo in dentistry in promoting the addition of fluoride to a city’s water supply.  Take a read of this Australian dental professional’s letter to my local newspaper.

Dental President’s push for fluoride

This letter-to-the-editor appeared in the Bundaberg NewsMail (Queensland, Australia), Wednesday, October 26, 2005, p. 6.

False claims on fluoride
I was horrified to read the arguments against fluoridation recently printed in the NewsMail.

They falsely claimed or implied that water fluoridation caused a whole range of diseases and medical problems.

Would the World Health Organisation, US-based Centres for Disease Control, the UK Medical Research Council, Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council and more than 100 of the world’s leading health and
scientific authorities endorse water fluoridation if it cased (sic) health problems?

Of course not; the suggestion is ludicrous.

An independent 2002 cost benefit analysis showed that the state would save more than $1 billion over the next 30 years if Queensland’s larger towns were fluoridated.

That’s in 2002 dollars and takes into account all capital and ongoing costs.
Rather than costing money, water fluoridation has a massive cost benefit.

Why do we put up with the worst teeth in the country and the most expensive public dental system in the country?

Why are more than 140,000 Queenslanders (more than all the surgical and “secret” waiting lists combined) on public dental waiting lists?

Why do our pensioners and low income earners have to wait for years for a dental check up?

Every other state and territory fluoridated their drinking water decades ago and they have reaped the financial and health benefits ever since.

The Australian Dental Association and other health authorities look forward to working with state and local government bodies to implement what was recently described by the US Centres for Disease Control as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Australian Dental Association
Queensland Branch

My response to the Bundaberg News-Mail

How does one respond to a dental professional who seems to have the dental status quo on his side?  After all, he wrote:  “Would the World Health Organisation, US-based Centres for Disease Control, the UK Medical Research Council, Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council and more than 100 of the world’s leading health and scientific authorities endorse water fluoridation if it cased (sic) health problems?”

Dear Editor,

Dr Michael Foley, as President of the Australian Dental Association (Qld.), is lauding the benefits, especially the cost  benefits, of adding a toxin (fluoride) to our water supply [2].  He quotes the authorities that he wants but ignores others.

He omitted telling us that 98% of Europe does not drink fluoridated water. Apart from 10% of the UK and 3% of Spain, virtually every European country has either ceased or rejected outright water fluoridation as a health program. [3]

Dr. Hardy Limeback is no dummy in dentistry, as head of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Canada, and was once an ardent supporter of the benefits of fluoride – but no more.

He says that “mass medicating” the public through the water supply is dangerous and unnecessary, stating that the benefits are “exaggerated” and there is growing evidence of the results of overexposure from fluoridated toothpaste and other sources.

He wrote, “On the risk side, so many people will end up with ruined teeth, fragile bones, acute sensitivities, thyroid problems and an increased risk for cancer, all in the name of preventive dentistry.”

He admits, “I am ashamed for my profession and can no longer take part in the charade.” [4]

Nobel Laureate in Medicine (2000), Dr. Arvid Carlson of Sweden wrote: “I am quite convinced that water fluoridation, in a not-too-distant future, will be consigned to medical history.” [5]

Why is it that The Harvard School of Dental Medicine announced in July 2005  that it would investigate the work  of one of its faculty members after an environmental watchdog group accused the professor of ignoring research conducted by one of his own students that linked fluoride to bone cancer in boys? [6]

But Dr. Foley is “horrified” about the anti-fluoride letters in the NewsMail and claims the link with diseases and medical problems is false.  Try telling that to the Harvard University dental researcher and the European countries that contradict Foley’s claims.
Spencer Gear

P. S. A very abbreviated version of my letter was published.

Various levels of fluorosis (Fluoride Action Network)

My Response to the Fraser Coast Chronicle

I responded to a letter from Maryborough, Qld., medical practitioner, Dr. Cotton.  I am not aware that this letter was published.

19 April 2006

Dear Editor,

I applaud Dr. Cotton’s (Forum, 15 April 2006) call: “What we need is leadership on the issue [of fluoridation].”  But it must be truthful leadership about fluoride’s effects.

Dr. Hardy Limeback is no dummy in dentistry.  He’s Associate Professor and Head, Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto, Canada.  He used to be a leading advocate for fluoride and pushed for it in Ontario.  Now he is opposed.

This is the leadership needed on the Fraser Coast.  A study at the University of Toronto confirmed Dr. Limeback’s worst fears.  “Residents of cities that fluoridate have double the fluoride in their hip bones vis-a-vis the balance of the population.  Worse, we discovered that fluoride is actually altering the basic architecture of human bones.”

Skeletal fluorosis is a severe condition that occurs when fluoride accumulates in bones, making them extremely weak and brittle.  What are the earliest symptoms?

According to Dr. Limeback, they are mottled and brittle teeth.  He said that in Canada they were now spending more money treating dental fluorosis than on treating cavities.  And that includes his own dental practice.

Dr. Limeback compares two Canadian cities.  “Here in Toronto we’ve been fluoridating for 36 years.  Yet Vancouver, which has never fluoridated, has a cavity rate lower than Toronto’s.”

This is the type of leadership needed!

Yours sincerely,
Spencer Gear

It’s time that we got the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in the fluoride debate.


1.    “Why I changed my mind about water fluoridation,” by John Colquhoun, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 41, 1, Autumn 1997, available from: (John Colquhoun was from the School of Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand).

2.    Dr. Hardy Limeback, “Why I am now officially opposed to adding fluoride to drinking water,” available from the Fluoride Action Network at: [14th August 2004].   Dr. Hardy Limeback, BSc, PhD, DDS, Associate Professor and Head, Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5G-1G6.  E-mail: [email protected].

3.  I highly recommend the Fluoride Action Network and its range of articles, reports on scientific research, to provide information about the status of fluoride that you will not find in conventional medical or dental circles.


2.    Bundaberg NewsMail, 26 Oct., 2005, p. 6.
3.   “Why is the Media Finally Paying Attention to Fluoridation?” 14 March 2001, Canton, New York.  Fluoride Action Network,  available from at: (Accessed 26 October 2005).
4.    Ken Macqueen, “Biting Back Against Fluoride: The long campaign against treated water is gaining new adherents,” Macleans, November 25, 2002, available from the Canadian Encyclopedia at: (Accessed 26 October 2005).
5.    “Dr Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Laureate in Medicine (2000), Opposes Fluoridation,” Available from the Fluoride Action
Network at: (Accessed 14th August 2004).
6.    Brendan R. Linn, Crimson Staff Writer, “Dental School Begins Investigation of Prof: School probes accusations that Douglass misreported findings of cancer study Published on Friday, July 01, 2005, Harvard Crimson, Harvard University’s newspaper, Available from: (Accessed 2 July 2005).


Copyright (c) 2013 Spencer D. Gear.  This document last updated at Date: 9 October 2015.