With few exceptions the biochemistry of fluorine emphasizes its toxic features. The production of endemic dental fluorosis (mottled enamel) in human beings by fluorine in drinking water1 is an outstanding example of the toxic effect of an excessive intake of the element. The recent discovery of the inhibitory effect of trace quantities of fluorine in drinking water on dental caries in children aged 12 to 14 years2 and in young adults3 marks the first indication that fluorine may have a beneficial role in animal physiology. This inhibitory effect of fluorine on dental caries is shown by data in table 1 and in the chart, taken from a recent report by Dean, Arnold and Elvove.2b The figures in table 2 are from a report by Deatherage3 based on results of dental examinations of selectees of the current Selective Service law. The effect of fluorine present in
McCLURE FJ. INGESTION OF FLUORIDE AND DENTAL CARIESQUANTITATIVE RELATIONS BASED ON FOOD AND WATER REQUIREMENTS OF CHILDREN ONE TO TWELVE YEARS OLD. Am J Dis Child. 1943;66(4):362–369. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010220015002
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