UNICEF’s overview on fluoridation is a very interesting document that nowadays is a bit hard to find after they moved it to a new URL and into a PDF. ”Fluoride in water: An overview”, is now at http://www.unicef.org/wes/fluoride.pdf.
The document is five pages long and among other things it says:
We purposely fluoridate a range of everyday products, notably toothpaste and drinking water, because for decades we have believed that fluoride in small doses has no adverse effects on health to offset its proven benefits in preventing dental decay. But more and more scientists are now seriously questioning the benefits of fluoride, even in small amounts. [...] agreement is universal that excessive fluoride intake leads to loss of calcium from the tooth matrix, aggravating cavity formation throughout life rather than remedying it, and so causing dental fluorosis. Severe, chronic and cumulative overexposure can cause the incurable crippling of skeletal fluorosis. [...] The next stage is osteosclerosis (hardening and calcifying of the bones), and finally the spine, major joints, muscles and nervous system are damaged.
The hazards of fluoride are also described in a highly recommendable article by zoophysiologist Jan Sällström, ”Fluoride in dentistry is a cell poison”.
PS. March 2009: The UNICEF document is presently being updated. Maybe the updated version will not contain the exact words quoted above. Those were from the PDF version made in June 2003.