By Kenyan Houck
Jesuit News (Portland, Oregon)
Sparkling water’s healthy benefits and friendly appearance may be misleading consumers. Recent studies have called into question whether the low pH of sparkling water poses a potential risk to the enamel on your teeth.
As noted by Medical News Today, the process for creating sparkling water involves the addition of pressurized carbon dioxide gas to water without any salts, acids or sugars being added. These last ingredients are what increase the risk of tooth decay.
Senior Gabriella Brown vocalized a growing trend regarding the reason for drinking carbonated water.
“I do not think sparkling water is a substitute for regular water,” Brown said. “I believe sparkling water is a healthier substitute for soda.”
While carbonated water is undeniably healthier than soda, it still poses potential risks to the enamel or your teeth. Senior Nolan Skokan noted no obvious benefits to the drink itself.
“Usually something that tastes bad is healthy for you, but in this case I feel like there is no benefit to drinking sparkling water,” Skokan said.
Skokan may have inadvertently brought to light a potentially serious issue. According to the Chicago Tribune, anything with a pH below 4 is potentially harmful to the health of a person’s teeth, and most sparkling waters’ have a pH in the 3.5-4 range with carbonation playing a significant factor.
For comparison purposes, studies reported by Shelton Dentistry have shown that Coke has a pH of roughly 2.52, a regular Starbucks coffee is about 4.85, and Minute Maid Orange Juice’s pH is 3.7. Not only does the study highlight the acidic nature of these beverages, it also creates juxtaposition between the pH of sparkling water and orange juice, a drink known for its acidity.
Mrs. Michelle Strear, a member of the counseling department and frequent carbonated water drinker, recalled a fundamental issue surrounding the beverage.
“A few years ago, I remember asking my dentist about [carbonated beverages], and he said that the carbonation ate away at the enamel on [my] teeth,” Strear said.
Fortunately, the Chicago Tribune also stated that consuming sparkling water from time to time is not detrimental, rather its consistent continual consumption that could be potentially harmful.
Photo Credit: Jannes Pockele