DRINKING bottled water could be causing you cavities in your teeth due to high levels of acidity, dentists have revealed.
While it’s easy enough to reach for a bottle of H2O when we are feeling thirsty, choosing exactly which water to go for could make a big difference when it comes to your oral health.
Dr Sohail Mohiuddin took to TikTok to test the pH levels of some of the most popular brands of water and was left ‘shook’ at the levels of pH in some.
The pH level is what is used to measure the level of how acidic something is. The pH range goes from 0-14 and a pH level of 7 is thought to be neutral.
Levels below 7 are acidic – meaning that you could be damaging your teeth if you consume products below this level. Dr Sohail discovered that some water is below this level and potentially harmful to oral health.
Speaking to The Sun, one expert, Dr Viren Vithlani, specialist periodontist at MyMouth, provider of oral hygiene products explained why drinks with a certain pH are dangerous: “When acidic foods and beverages are consumed, the pH is tipped, creating an imbalance that demineralises tooth enamel.
“The tipping point is when pH levels drop below 5.5 and cause a thinning of the enamel, potentially exposing the dentine. Some acidic foods and fizzy drinks can inflict erosive damage to teeth due to their acidic content and potentially cause decay due to the sugar content, which is public enemy number one for dental health.
“However, there’s an entire spectrum of acidic beverages that lower the pH in our mouth.
“They interrupt the mineral exchange that occurs on the hard outer shell of your teeth known as tooth enamel – disturbing the equilibrium of minerals such as calcium and phosphate, leaving the enamel weaker.”
As well as changing the appearance of your teeth it can also cause cavities or infections.
Cavities are areas of decay in your teeth that can develop into tiny openings or holes. They can develop on the surface of your teeth, the side of your teeth and at the roots.
Dr Sohail, owner and general dentist at Dentologie tested three different waters to measure their pH levels.
Using a pH gauge he takes small strips which he dips in the water, these strips then change colour depending on the pH level.
First he tested FIJI water, the brand states that its water has a pH level of 7.7 and is ‘perfectly balanced’.
In a statement FIJI said: “FIJI Water’s pH is typically 7.7. Pure or purified water has a pH of 7.
“Drinking and natural water can range in pH due to dissolved minerals and gases. Solutions with a pH of less than 7 are said to be “acidic” and those higher than 7, “alkaline”.
“FIJI Water is a natural artisan water bottled at its source in Fiji. Tropical rainfall slowly filters through volcanic rock adding vital minerals that give FIJI Water its unique and refreshing taste.”
When Dr Sohail measured the pH for Fiji – it came in at 8.
Next up he measured the pH of Evian water, which is produced by Danone.
The brand states that it’s water is ‘neutrally balanced’ with a PH rating of 7.2.
When measure by Dr Sohail – Evian had a pH of 7.5.
Last to be measured was Aquafina, which is produced by PepsiCo, Aquafina is not sold in the UK but is sold across the US, Canada, Peru, Spain and other countries.
The brand states that the pH of the water sits between 5.5 and 7. This is the water with the worst rating from Dr Sohail’s measure – at 5.5.
Despite these measures – it’s still best to try to stick to H2O rather than other sugary drinks.
How to treat tooth decay and cavities
Early stage tooth decay can be reversed before holes start to form in the mouth.
The NHS says that to prevent this you can cut down on the amount of sugary food and drinks you consume.
It also advises that you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
Brushing with flouride can help strengthen the enamel of teeth which is often damaged by food and drink.
If you already have a hole in your tooth then you might need treatment such as a crown or filling, route canal treatment or the removal of all or part of the tooth.
Speaking to The Sun wwin dentists Hassan and Hussein Dalghous, who run Yorkshire Dental Suite said that if cavities are not treated then it could lead to tooth loss.
“Cavities are small holes in the tooth structure which starts with the outermost layer of the tooth (the enamel). Cavities are also called tooth decay and can be caused by a combination of factors including bacteria in your mouth, sugary snacks and not cleaning your mouth well.
“If cavities aren’t treated they could lead to larger cavities and eventually tooth ache and potentially tooth loss.
“The environment of the oral cavity and the pH level is really important in preventing tooth decay as a low pH level (acidic environment) creates a more favourable environment for the bacteria to feed of the plaque and create the acid that breaks down the tooth structure causing cavities. “
Dr Viren added: “Even the acidity of mineral waters can be high but one thing in their favour is that the mineral composition seems to have somewhat of a protective effect for tooth erosion.
“Compared to soft drinks, mineral waters were much less erosive. Some fruits are also more acidic like grapefruit, pineapple, and citric fruits such as apples and oranges.
“One very popular method of battling acidity is an alkaline diet with plenty of vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, legumes, and raisins as well as less dairy, eggs, and sugary processed snacks.
“Don’t forget to keep up with your regular dental check-ups to ensure you’re not at risk of acid damage.”
The Sun has contacted Danone and PepsiCo.