LEAD AND DENTAL HEALTH
Did anyone ever tell you that lead ingestion contributed to dental caries? No one ever told me.
Enamel biopsies taken from school children in a community where exposure to lead was a health hazard were analyzed for lead and fluoride. The children with high enamel lead had significantly higher caries scores than the children with low enamel lead, in spite of the fact that the high lead group also was higher in enamel fluoride. There was no increase in enamel lead with age. The lead in saliva was only a fraction of that in blood. Infants with lead poisoning showed higher saliva lead than a normal infant.
See, “Lead in Enamel and Saliva, Dental Caries and the Use of Enamel Biopsies for Measuring Past Exposure to Lead”
The fluoride in their teeth did not prevent the caries.
Lead is passed on from mother to child. The child doesn’t necessarily have to ingest the lead. It can be transferred by the mother to her offspring, just like fluoride.
See “Association of Dental Caries and Blood Lead Levels” in JAMA.
“Blood lead level and dental caries in school-age children”
“Mean blood lead level was significantly greater among the urban subgroup, as was the mean number of carious tooth surfaces. Blood lead level was positively associated with number of caries among urban children, even with adjustment for demographic and maternal factors and child dental practices.”This study suggests that the fluoridation of water can lead to higher lead levels:
“Association of silicofluoride treated water with elevated blood lead”
“Chronic, low-level dosage of silicofluoride (SiF) has never been adequately tested for health effects in humans. We report here on a statistical study of 151,225 venous blood lead (VBL) tests taken from children ages 0-6 inclusive, living in 105 communities of populations from 15,000 to 75,000. For every age/race group, there was a consistently significant association of SiF treated community water and elevated blood lead. The highest likelihood of children having VBL> 10 microg/dL occurs when they are exposed to SiF treated water and subject to another risk factor known to be associated with high blood lead (e.g., old housing).”