Bottled water: Cause of cavity?

Bottled water Cause of cavity

Tooth decay or cavity is a condition where the tooth enamel gets eroded and damaged. People of all age groups can experience tooth decay alike. A common culprit that causes tooth decay is bacteria. 

The bacteria in the plaque produce acids that erode the tooth enamel. A lot of foods such as sugary foods, cold beverages, and acidic food boosts tooth decay. 

But a twist here is that an unusual culprit abets cavity- bottled water. Doctors speculate that bottled water boosts cavity formation. 

Doctors say that bottled water doesn’t cause cavity but lack of fluoride does. To know more about the unusual statement read further.

The vindication behind bottled water anomaly

Expert dentists say that lack of fluoride in bottled water makes it a culprit that opens the gate for a cavity. 

Fluoride is a natural mineral that can prevent tooth decay and maintains oral health. The fluoride is absorbed by the tooth enamel especially in developing teeth in children. 

Once the teeth completely develop, fluoride offers resistance to the tooth against decay and cavity

A concern was raised against the lack of fluoride in bottled water at the World Dental Congress in Montreal due to sudden tooth decay rise among children.

The sudden rise was because more people turned towards bottled water. Health-conscious opt for bottled water and ditch tap water. 

But many fail to see that tap water contains all the fluoride that a person needs to shield the tooth from decay. 

On the other hand, bottled water doesn’t have much fluoride to improve the resistance of teeth. 

Various dental associations put forth that by drinking bottled water, people are leaving out the decay-preventive benefits offered by fluoride.

Benefits of fluoride

Fluoride is beneficial to your teeth for a variety of reasons and helps in the following ways:

  • It remineralizes and rebuilds weakened and eroded teeth
  • It prevents loss of minerals from the enamel or makes mineral loss slow
  • It has the ability to reverse early symptoms of tooth decay
  • Acts as a barrier against the growth of harmful oral bacteria

When you eat foods rich in sugar and carbs the bacteria feed on them and produce acid. The acid eats the minerals in the tooth enamel and results in demineralization. 

As mentioned earlier, fluoride restores minerals and makes your teeth strong.

If you don’t trust the municipal water and continue taking bottled water, look for other ways to take in fluoride. 

You can go for fluoridated water. Water fluoridation has been common for 60 years now and it proved to be a cost-effective and safe way to minimize dental caries. 

Water fluoridation is said to reduce tooth decay by 20- 40 percent. Make sure that the water you consume has 0.7 to 0.12 milligrams of fluoride per liter. 

If your water doesn’t have enough fluoride, choose other options to consume fluoride.

Fluoride substitutes

You can get a lot of fluoride substitutes in the market. Some over-the-counter products that contain fluoride are

  • Toothpaste
  • Mouth rinses
  • Supplements

If your child or you are prone to cavities, you can get a proper prescription from the doctor and use a fluoride substitute. Remember that children below 8 years should not use mouth rinses.

Is fluoridated water safe?

Researchers all over the world have conducted hundreds of studies to analyze the safety of fluoride in water. 

There is no evidence to show that fluoride in drinking water causes major health issues. However, a lot of people claim that fluoride in drinking water causes problems such as low IQ scores in children, bone cancer, arthritis, and kidney disease. 

The research conducted on the safety of fluoride shows mixed results leaving everyone confused.

Though fluoride’s potential to cause chronic diseases is not proven, it causes mild problems such as dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis.  

Dental fluorosis: Dental fluorosis occurs when you consume excess fluoride while teeth formation occurs under the gums. 

Excessive fluoride causes white spots on the teeth’ surface. Dental fluorosis doesn’t have much harm other than the white spots. 

It is common in children under 8 as they have teeth still coming in. to prevent excess fluoride intake, brush their teeth and prevent them from swallowing excess fluoridated toothpaste.

Skeletal fluorosis 

Excess fluoride in drinking water and prolonged exposure to high fluoride results in thinning of bones. The signs include joint pain and stiffness. Skeletal fluorosis is a rare condition.

Bottom line

Anything in the right dosage is beneficial. The same applies to fluoride. Lack of fluoride in bottled water boosts tooth decay. On the flip side, excess fluoride results in dental fluorosis. Therefore to maintain oral health avoid excess intake of fluoride.


Why is bottled water linked to cavity formation?

Bottled water itself does not directly cause cavities; rather, the lack of fluoride in some bottled water brands is the main concern. Fluoride is a mineral known to prevent tooth decay, and its absence in certain bottled water brands may contribute to an increased risk of cavities, especially among children.

What are the benefits of fluoride for oral health?

Fluoride has several benefits for teeth, including remineralizing and strengthening weakened enamel, slowing down mineral loss, reversing early signs of tooth decay, and acting as a barrier against harmful oral bacteria.

How can one ensure an adequate intake of fluoride?

Apart from tap water, which often contains fluoride, one can opt for fluoridated water or other products like fluoride toothpaste, mouth rinses, or supplements, especially if tap water is not a preferred option.

What is dental fluorosis and how can it be prevented?

Dental fluorosis is a condition that results from excessive fluoride consumption during teeth formation, leading to white spots on the tooth’s surface. To prevent it, ensure children do not swallow excessive fluoridated toothpaste and monitor their fluoride intake.

How can one maintain oral health without excessive fluoride intake?

Maintaining a balance is key. While fluoride is essential, excessive consumption should be avoided. Opt for a well-regulated intake of fluoridated products and consult a dental professional for personalized guidance on fluoride use and maintaining oral health.

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