Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith
Many dental patients today are looking for ways that they can decrease their chances of developing cavities. Many of whom would like an easy and inexpensive way to do so, as well. The Internet is full of stories and advertisements about alkaline water and the positive health benefits. Some websites claim that alkaline water can help stop or heal cavities.
Can alkaline water really help with cavities?
Before we talk about alkaline water, let's do a quick review on pH. Ph is the measure of how acidic or basic something is. You can think of pH in a similar manner to temperature. Things are either hot or cold. In a similar manner, things are either acidic or basic. When the mouth gets really acidic, that is when people get into trouble.
Next, let's talk about how cavities form. The bacteria that are found in the mouth live off the sugars (carbohydrates) in our diet. The bacteria eat these sugars and then produce acid. It is this acid that eats into the teeth and causes cavities. In general, people who have a problem with cavities have an acidic mouth.
Alkaline water is slightly basic, the opposite pH of acidic. The general premise behind alkaline water stopping cavities is that alkaline water would neutralize the acid found in the mouth of a patient at risk for cavities. This in theory could work to stop the initiation of cavities. My professional opinion is that you would have to be drinking a consistent and sizable amount of alkaline water to have a significant impact. In addition, a cavity that has already formed would not be affected by alkaline water. The bacteria already have too strong a foothold in a tooth once a cavity has formed for alkaline water to be of benefit to that tooth.
Alkaline water has the potential to be slightly beneficial to dental patients who have problems with cavities. A comprehensive plan with your dentist to control dental disease would absolutely be the starting point for cavity control, but if you wanted to start drinking alkaline water, as well, I certainly wouldn't stop you.
Lastly, there are professional products that we at 58 Dental use to combat cavities, products which have been tested and proven. I wouldn't want a patient to hang their hat on alkaline water alone when there are so many more predictable options available to dental patients these days.
In short, if you want to pick up a case of alkaline water, it certainly isn't going to hurt you from a dental stand point. Almost any drink that you can think of is worse for you than alkaline water. If you have a problem with cavities, please see your dentist who will help develop a comprehensive plan with you to help ward off cavities. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the team at 58 Dental.