The Role of Fluoride

Lesson 1, Topic 5
In Progress

The Role of Fluoride

Lesson Progress
0% Complete

Directions: Before you start, listen to part of a talk in a chemistry class.

*Vocabulary is sometimes provided in written form when it may be unfamiliar to the student but essential for understanding the lecture

skeletal fluorosis
thyroid gland

The Role of Fluoride - Transcript

Scientists discovered that naturally fluorinated water could be beneficial to your teeth, and so it became common practice to add fluoride to drinking water. Toothpastes and mouthwashes also contain amounts of fluoride.

Unfortunately, excess fluoride can negate its advantages. Natural sources of drinking water in various parts of the world have varying concentrations of fluoride, and places, where that concentration is high, are prone to certain health risks when there is no other source of drinking water. The most serious side effect of excess fluoride is the bone disease, skeletal fluorosis. When excess fluoride is in the body, it can cause the joints to stiffen and the bones to thicken. It can severely impact mobility and can negatively affect the thyroid gland. Skeletal fluorosis is a condition that over 2.7 million people suffer from across the world.