The link between oral health concerns and pool water were first noted in the 1980s, when it was found that nearly 40% of competitive swimmers suffered from dental erosion.
Further research corroborated these studies, but unfortunately, not a whole lot has been done to make the general public aware of the potential risks.
Problems with pool water occur when the pH level isn’t properly monitored. If the pool water becomes too low, it will become too acidic, so homeowners and maintenance personnel who care for pools are instructed to keep the pH level around 7.2-7.8. If pH drops below 7.2, the water will start to become corrosive, leading to burning eyes and itchy skin.
When it comes to your teeth, enamel erosion and staining of the teeth are possible. One of the first signs of a problem is a condition known as swimmer’s calculus, which will reveal itself as brown, hard tartar deposits that show up on the front teeth. It is difficult to remove on your own, but by seeing your dentist and having a deep dental cleaning, it can be successfully taken off of the teeth.
If you will be spending considerable time in the pool, there are some things that you can do to keep your teeth healthy. Keep a bottle of regular water near the pool and drink it frequently, swishing out your mouth periodically. If you own a pool, you should also check the water for proper pH levels frequently, as test strips are inexpensive and are available in most pool supply stores.
If you are concerned that you might be dealing with erosion or any other dental problem, contact our office to set up an appointment.