Risks of fluoride

In recent years, there have been some concerns that fluoride may be linked to a variety of health-related problems, such as bone cancer.

The Medical Research Council has looked at all the available research and confirmed that there is no increased risk of any adverse health effects, including bone cancer, from artificially fluoridated water. For more information, see the Medical Research Council's 2002 report Water Fluoridation and Health.

Dental fluorosis

Dental fluorosis is a condition that can occur if teeth are exposed to too much fluoride when they are developing.

The condition may develop if fluoride supplements are taken by children under seven years of age who live in areas where the water supply is fluoridated.

In its mildest form, dental fluorosis appears as very fine pearly white lines or flecking on the surface of the teeth. Mild fluorosis can often only be detected by a dental expert.

Severe fluorosis may lead to pitting of the enamel and discolouration. However, severe dental fluorosis is rare in the UK.

Last updated: 04 October 2011