- The pH level of a plain, room temperature sparkling water is about 3 to 4, which is slightly acidic
- Acid dissolves the enamel, which makes the teeth weaker
- Drinking carbonated drink frequently dissolves more minerals in the teeth
Many people are switching to sparkling water believing this is a healthier option to drinking sweetened beverages and sodas, but it appears drinking seltzer or sparkling waters also comes with unwanted consequences.
A Philadelphia dentist warned that seltzer-lovers who go overboard could face increased risk for teeth problems. According to Shireen Malik of Nicholas Cosmetic Dental, many of her patients who drink lots of seltzer complained about sensitive teeth.
The problem has something to do with the pH levels of carbonated water. Sparkling water is made by infusing water with carbon dioxide producing carbonic acid with a weak acidic pH. The feel good sensation that people get after sipping a carbonated drink is the chemical activation of pain receptors on the tongue that responds to this acid.
The pH level of pure water is reportedly about 7, but that of a plain, room temperature sparkling water is about 3 to 4, which is slightly acidic. Flavors like lemon or grapefruit are also more acidic with pH levels between 2 and a half to three.
Malik explained that acid dissolves the enamel, which makes the teeth weaker. Drinking carbonated drink frequently dissolves more minerals in the teeth increasing the risk of tooth wear or erosion.
Although enamel-building toothpastes can help with slight damage, they cannot do much when the damage is serious.
“Once the enamel is gone, it’s gone,” Malik said.
Malik and the American Dental Association suggested that those who love sparkling water limit their consumption of these carbonated drinks.
“Maybe have it once a day, at one time with food, because then it’s diluted a little bit. And then have it at room temperature,” Malik said.
The dentist added that people should also consider drinking regular water as there is no substitute for it.