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Athens officials continue to fluoridate water

Athens Daily Review - 1/12/2018

Jan. 12--Reverberations continue from an Athens City Council meeting in December on whether the city should add fluoride to the water supply, as it has for more than 30 years.

"The city continues to fluoridate its water until our current fluoride supply is exhausted," City Managing Director of Public Services Ryan Adams said. "While the issue was discussed at a recent council meeting, the city council did not give staff a specific direction relating to fluoridation."

In 2016, council members considered a bid to buy fluoride but voted to deny the bid.

Since the meeting in December in which several people spoke regarding the issue, the Athens Daily Review has received several letters from dentists here supporting fluoridation or condemning the practice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association are supporters of adding fluoride to drinking water. Opponents say it can cause problems, including dental fluorosis.

An article from the Columbia University School of Dental Medicine shows that "in more severe fluorosis, the teeth can become pitted and have brown, gray or black spots. The enamel also may have an unusual shape."

The condition is treatable, according to the article.

"Teeth affected by fluorosis are not diseased. Fluorosis will not result in cavities or other dental problems. Concerns about appearance can be addressed with whitening to remove surface stains and veneers or other procedures to cover the discoloration.

A story in the Scientific American explains that all water contains some fluoride naturally. Fluoridation boosts that amount.

"Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the fluoride content of water to the recommended level for optimal dental health," the Columbia article shows. "In the U.S., the optimum concentration for fluoride in the water has been established in the range of 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million."

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(c)2018 the Athens Daily Review (Athens, Texas)

Visit the Athens Daily Review (Athens, Texas) at www.athensreview.com

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