All Party Parliamentary
Primary Care and Public Health Group

In March 2003, the All Party Parliamentary Primary Care and Public Health Group published a report on its inquiry into water fluoridation.  The Group endorsed the effectiveness and safety of fluoridation whilst rejecting civil liberties arguments against it.  On the question of effectiveness, the Group concluded that :

  1. The York Review had confirmed the beneficial effects of water fluoridation at reducing caries in children.

  2. The Medical Research Council had highlighted other studies reporting additional benefits, such as reductions in the prevalence of both toothache and dental treatment needing general anaesthetic, and a reduction in caries by water fluoridation in adults up to 75 years of age.

The most effective way of getting fluoride to deprived populations

The Group found that dental decay is widely recognised as a disease of social deprivation and that inequalities in dental health were widening.  It concluded that in socially deprived areas where high decay levels are observed – and which tend to be densely populated – the most effective way of getting fluoride to these populations is
via the water supply.

Its report highlights a 2002 review of primary dental care services by the Audit Commission, which stated that deprived areas with the worst dental health would benefit the most from fluoridation.

QUOTES FROM ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARY CARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH GROUP REPORT

Effective way of getting fluoride to socially deprived areas

“In socially deprived areas where high decay levels are observed and which tend to be densely populated, the most effective way of getting fluoride to these populations is via the water supply.”

No credible evidence of adverse health outcomes

“Looking at the wealth of evidence available to us there is no credible research that links water fluoridation with adverse health outcomes such as bone fractures or cancer.”

Cheap and effective way of preventing tooth decay

“The evidence is strongly supportive of the view that fluoridated water is a cheap and effective way of helping prevent dental decay in vulnerable groups.”