Calcium not sodium?
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Calcium fluoride is a naturally occurring cell salt that is responsible for maintaining the health of connective tissue and bones. It can also help to strengthen tooth enamel, to prevent the formation of cavities. As such, it is often added to drinking water and toothpastes in most Western countries. Experts believe that calcium fluoride is valuable to the body because it can strengthen bones and fortify tooth enamel. As a cell salt, it can help maintain the health of joints and skin and it is normally found in its highest concentrations in the bones and teeth. It does not, however, typically accumulate in soft tissues.
A deficiency in calcium fluoride can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. When too much fluoride is consumed, changes may occur in the appearance of the teeth, a condition commonly called dental fluorosis. White spots may appear, or the teeth may become inappropriately colored. Daily consumption of fluoridated water containing more than two parts per million (ppm) calcium fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis.
Calcium fluoride toxicity, however, is believed to be much more serious. Over time, consumption of fluoridated water containing more than eight ppm can cause damage to the kidneys, liver, and heart. Nervous, reproductive, and adrenal problems can occur, especially in the very young and the very old.
Most experts don't believe there is any reason to take calcium fluoride food supplements, at least for those who enjoy the benefit of fluoridated water. Those who have access to a supply of fluoridated water, but don't often drink the water, will typically receive some of this substance from any food or beverages prepared with that water. Most commercial toothpastes also contain added calcium fluoride, which is believed to help strengthen tooth enamel with topical application.
The use of fluoride to strengthen bones and teeth typically begins in childhood. In many parts of the Western world, toothpaste and drinking water deliver fluoride supplementation to most members of the populace. People who live in rural areas, especially those who depend upon an independent, rather than public, water supply, often don't have the benefit of fluoridated water. For these people, fluoride supplements may be beneficial, but should typically be used only under professional supervision, to prevent the negative long-term health effects that can come with over-consumption of fluoride.
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