Fluoride in Tooth Dentin and Neurodevelopment Outcome in a Canadian Cohort

What’s this project about?

Controversy about the safety of water fluoridation led the National Academy of Sciences to recommend additional research on fluoride toxicity. Using an existing Canadian pregnancy and birth cohort, this study will measure fluoride in a novel biomarker (dentin), and test the safety of chronic fluoride exposure among potentially vulnerable populations.

How will we go about doing this project?

This study capitalizes on an existing Canadian pregnancy and birth cohort: “Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals” (MIREC). We will (1) collect deciduous (baby) teeth from children in the MIREC cohort, (2) use novel high-dimensional analytical methods to analyze fluoride content in tooth dentin and to precisely sample tooth layers that correspond to specific life stages, and (3) relate the prenatal and postnatal fluoride exposure profile with child intellectual abilities and behavioural outcomes.

What will we do with our research findings?

The use of the dentin matrix will allow us to rigorously measure chronic fluoride exposure levels at levels relevant to the U.S. and Canada and to identify the possibility of discrete periods of susceptibility. Results of this study will help inform whether fluoride exposure during sensitive periods of brain development adversely impacts children’s behaviours or learning abilities. This information, which is of high public health relevance worldwide, will provide necessary information for decision making about the safety of fluoride among vulnerable populations.

What is the next step?

Tooth collection began in summer 2018. We aim to collect a total of 800 deciduous teeth by 2022. 

Want to know more about this project?

This study is funded by the NIEHS and described here:

https://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_details.cfm?aid=9709801&icde=31394145

See this website for information abut the MIREC birth cohort: https://www.mirec-canada.ca/en/biobank/

For more information, please contact Dr. Christine Till (ctill@yorku.ca), Principal Investigator.