This systematic review aims to summarize recent scientific literature concerning the potential risks and benefits associated with widespread use of fluoride either systematically through water, milk and salt fluoridation or topically via dentifrice, mouth rinse, gel and varnish.
Methods: Five reviewers independently screened sources, extracted data, and assessed validity. The search was limited to English language publications and the following electronic databases were searched: Cochrane Library, MedlinePlus, Embase, PubMed, and Saudi Digital Library. Inclusion criteria were a predefined hierarchy of evidence and objectives.
Results: Fluorosis is only linked to high fluoride intake or the high concentrations of fluoride in drinking water. There is inconsistency in evidence of efficiency of fluoride supplements in preventing dental caries in primary teeth. However, there is evidence that they prevent caries in permanent teeth. Fluoride toothpastes are effective in preventing caries in children below 6 years old.
Conclusion: The evidence to date of writing the article present weak and inconsistent evidence regarding any other general or oral health effect. Appropriate guidelines that are based on the evaluation of the risk and benefit of each component of fluoride exposure can lead to a more beneficial outcome.