Fluoride deficiency increases the likelihood of dental caries and it could possibly increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Why is fluoride important?
Fluoride is a structural component of teeth and bones and also protects against dental caries. It increases resistance to plaque acids on teeth.
What is the daily requirement of fluoride?
The daily requirement for an adult is 1.5 – 4.0 mg.
Source of fluoride
Fluoride can be found in mackerel, sardines, salmons, tea, coffee, rice, buckwheat, apples, lettuce, onions, soybeans, grapefruit, oats and corns.
However, the use of fluoridated water or soil rich in fluorides will greatly influence the fluorine content of foods.
It can be very toxic. Human gastroenteritis has been associated with excessive fluoride ingestion.
Long term exposure (ingestion of 8 ppm over 35 years) produces osteoporosis / osteomalacia, calcification of tendons and ligaments and development of bone spurs.
However, long term exposure to high levels fluoride (20 – 80 mg daily) may lead to skeletal fluorisis, which is a hardening of the bones accompanied by arthritic pain, stiffness, nerve damage and finally paralysis.