Tooth Decay Higher in Children Who do not Drink Tap Water, But Blood Lead Levels Lower

A new study appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has shown that American children who do not drink tap water are much more likely to have tooth decay than those who do, but also less likely to have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Due to some dangers reported from drinking tap water which includes fluoride and potentially other contaminants, some parents have opted to not give it to their child and instead have opted for bottled or filtered water for drinking. See for more information on the dangerous of fluoride for young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adding fluoride to the water supply has dramatically reduced the prevalence of tooth decay over the past 70 years. Even so tooth decay is still a large problem affecting the primary teeth of over 20% of U.S. preschoolers … Read more

Using Teeth to Determine Where you are From

An interesting article titled “The Pb isotopic record of historical to modern human lead exposure,” appears in the journal Science of The Total Environment written by George D. Kamenov and Brian L. Gulson (vol. 490, pp. 861-870, 2014). George Kamenov is a University of Florida geology professor. The article describes how trace amounts of lead present in teeth can give clues about what geographical region the teeth (and the person) came from. What is interesting about this article, is that the lead in the teeth can be used to pinpoint the geographic area where the teeth originated from. This is because lead is composed of four different isotopes which fluctuate in different rocks and soils around the world. As children grow they inhale dust and ingest soil which contains the different isotopes of lead. As tooth enamel forms during childhood, it … Read more