Alkaline Water: Is It Good For Your Teeth?

Alkaline Water: Is It Good For Your Teeth?

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Alkaline Water and Teeth
©Tarasyuk Igor/Shutterstock.com

Have you heard of alkaline water?  If not, you might soon hear about it from a multi-level-marketer near you. Earlier this week, I talked with an alkaline water marketer for five or ten minutes about it.  He talked about all of the benefits of alkaline water and even called it “nature’s water” or something similar to that.

Alkaline WaterI wasn’t familiar with alkaline water, so I decided to read up on it. As I browsed several websites, I noticed a trend.  Nearly all of the supporters of alkaline water are selling something, and those who oppose it seem to agree that its supporters are only supporting it to make money.

As I read over some of the claims, some of them were outrageous, and others were completely false.  If I didn’t have a strong background in the life sciences, I might have been fooled. One claim in particular caught my eye.  The author of a website claims that alkaline water can improve your oral health.  Here’s a couple of ways that alkaline water might improve your oral health, and my thoughts about them.

Can Alkaline Water Help Re-mineralize Your Teeth?

If you’ve read my article about the nine types of drinks that can dissolve your teeth, you probably know that acids are harmful to your teeth.  Alkaline water is basic (the opposite of an acid), so it might make sense that alkaline water would help your teeth.  After all, if acidic drinks dissolve your teeth, wouldn’t it make sense that alkaline drinks would re-build your teeth?  Actually, no. When acidic drinks dissolve your teeth, they take away the minerals that make up the enamel.  Thankfully, your body has a built-in mechanism to replace these minerals via your saliva.  Alkaline water can’t re-mineralize your teeth by replacing tooth structure.

Can Alkaline Water Neutralize Acids That Break Down Teeth?

Whenever you eat anything containing sugar or starch, it can be eaten by the bacteria in your mouth.  These bacteria then excrete acid right onto your teeth.  This acid can slowly eat away at your teeth.  If you don’t remove the bacteria daily through brushing and flossing, then the acid that they excrete will eventually cause a cavity in your tooth.  For more about how plaque destroys your teeth, read What Every Human Needs To Know About Plaque. In theory, alkaline water could neutralize the acid that the plaque produce and inhibit a cavity from forming.  However, you would have to swish it around in your mouth a lot to ensure that it was able to contact the acid under the sticky layer of plaque.  Most people when drinking alkaline water probably don’t bother to swish it around in their mouths, they simply swallow it down to their acidic stomachs. Although alkaline water could be used to neutralize acid, it is probably more simple to deprive the acid-producing bacteria of their food source by rinsing your mouth out with water to get rid of the sugar or eating some fresh vegetables to clean your teeth. If you really want to neutralize the acid, try mixing a teaspoon of baking soda into some warm water and swishing it around in your mouth.  This will produce some “alkaline water” at a fraction of the cost.

Conclusion

Alkaline water can’t re-build your teeth’s enamel or heal a cavity.  It could theoretically neutralize the acid in your mouth after eating something sugary, but it’s probably not terribly effective.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any scientific peer-reviewed articles on this specific subject. Finally, a word to the wise: It’s probably best to get your health information from someone who isn’t trying to sell you something.  If someone claims that their product can solve hundreds of health problems, it’s probably too good to be true.  If you want to see if a claim is backed up by real science, you can try performing a search of scientific papers at PubMed or Google Scholar free of charge. Do you have any questions or comments on alkaline water and oral health?  If so, leave them below in the comments section!

17 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks very much for your informative article.
    Two days ago i have started on the Kargen alkaline water, since i have been suffering with highly acidic stomach for many years and believe me, i have tried almost every known thing and of course lost a lot of weight. Upon starting with the alkaline water, i realize that i experiencing a sensivity in my bottom from teeth and my tongue feels as if it has been badly bruised and constantly expelling acidic juices. Please explain to me what is going on because i have tried all kinds of doctors.

    • Hi Diana – I’m not a doctor, so I don’t really have any idea what’s going on with your whole body.

      Here’s a guess as to what’s going on with your teeth. It could be that after years of having an acid reflux, it has started to erode some of the enamel off of your teeth and made them more sensitive. I’m not sure about your tongue… There are salivary glands found under your tongue, but the pH of normal saliva is neutral to slightly basic (alkaline.)

      Sorry I couldn’t be of too much help, but maybe your teeth are sensitive from the acid. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Tom, just because someone is selling something doesn’t mean it’s bad. And, just because Western doctors don’t promote it, doesn’t mean it won’t work. I have a Kangen water system, and I am on a very strong medication that requires that I test my liver function monthly. I went from having a distressed liver to having one that does not even appear to be in the body of someone taking any medication at all. Is that from the Kangen? Or is it because I try to eat organic foods? Who knows, but I will not give up my Kangen.

    The fellow who sold me the system never mentioned oral health. In Japan, alkaline water is used to treat all kinds of illnesses, including cancer. A high acid content in your body promotes disease. Kangen uses electricity to separate the +- hydrogen, leaving only the + in the drinking water. The – hydrogen water (acidic water) can be used to clean your kitchen counter tops, saving you money on cleansers, and saving the environment.

    Read more articles Tom, there is a lot more out there that can be done to promote good health other than a pill or surgery.

    • Hi Sandra – I agree with you, we do have a lot of useful products on the market that help people. It does seem like there are some manufacturers of alkaline water that claim that it solves more health problems than it really does. I am glad that your liver seems to be doing well.

      I am a skeptic by nature, so I will wait for more studies to be done to see what happens with alkaline water.

      I agree that there are many things that can be done to promote oral health other than pills/surgeries. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog was to help inform other about what they can do to better take care of their teeth.

      I am taking your advice and reading a lot everyday – there’s a lot of knowledge out there and I seem to have an obsession with trying to absorb it all.

      If you ever hear of any scientific papers that deal with alkaline water and oral health, I’d love to hear about them. Thanks for your comment, Sandra!

  3. Hello Tom, I picked up an alkaline water stick for about 12 bucks on ebay. It makes about 1000 gallons of water over 3 months. Sometimes the best advice you can get is not from a published science experiment. I learned more from using the product to see if it worked or not. I workout better I feel more energized. My teeth have less of that sticky stuff after I eat cookies. Acid Reflux Be gone! The taste of the water tastes like the fresh snow in Upstate New York from my childhood 20 years ago. No chlorine and an Alkaline ph balance of around 9 (not to shabby). Just watch people all over america on youtube talking about this crazy miracle water trick that works! Its just like Moms home remedies! Kangen water or just alkaline sticks have some good benefits in my opinion.

    Have Good One and stay thirsty my friend!

    • Hi Big Daddy – I did some searching on eBay and found the alkaline water sticks. I’m glad they are helping you out! I haven’t ever tried alkaline water, but maybe someday. Thanks for your comment!

      • Glad to hear it Tom! Man, Me and my wife just keep discovering different and good things coming from this water stick alkalined water. I hope you and your family enjoy these things as much as we do!

  4. Hi Tom,
    Drinking plenty of normal water itself is really good for our health,right? So if the water we intake is alkaline, then the benefits will be double. Moreover, the hydroxyl ions present in alkaline water neutralizes the free radicals/toxins in our body, thereby preventing ailments. I have an experience with the Tyent USA water ionizers, which produce ionized alkaline water. At first I was really doubtful about the product. But to my surprise, it had tremendous refreshing effects on me. I was addicted to junk food, which increased the acidity in my body and made me sick. Then my friend recommended me alkaline water and it was startling to see the miraculous cure.
    Read more articles on alkaline water and experience the benefits of alkaline water. It really paves the way to good health.

    • Hi Karen – I agree that water is good for our health, I am skeptical about the alkaline water since everything I learned in my physiology class leads me to believe that our bodies regulate our pH through the lungs and the kidneys. If we drink lots of alkaline water, our lungs and kidneys will simply compensate to bring our bodies back into the normal pH range.

      I’m glad it’s helping you, and perhaps there are many benefits that I simply am not aware of. I’m a pretty big skeptic though. Thanks for your comment, Karen!

  5. While traveling in Bolivia, I saw that the locals have solid white teeth, and they chew coca leaves with lye (to extract the alkaloids) in their mouths. I wonder if the constant alkalinity in the mouth keeps the acid corrosion at bay, and thus preserves the enamel.

    I, too, am a skeptical, with a background in chemistry. And I wonder.

  6. Hi

    I have an unique problem that no one has been able to give me a satisfactory answer to. I developed an allergy (?) to fluoride. About 20 years ago I was given a fluoride treatment and a gel to use at home – within the first week my mouth got extremely sore – I liken it to having trench mouth – which seemed to be fairly prevalent during the 50’s – bummer. Anyway, after that using fluoride toothpastes would have the same effect. I have found fluoride free toothpastes that I now use – but I also found the Arm & Hammer sensitive toothpaste is seemingly agreeable – have not been using it for too long now. I also used Kangan water for approximately 2 years – I have a friend who is selling the units – and since I would not buy one she furnished the water to me on a weekly basis. Now after always having fairly good tooth cleaning practices and keeping all but one of my teeth for 75 years – I am now having major dental problems. Within the last month I have lost two more teeth and have had two bridges installed – and I have one tooth that was crowned 10 years ago the fractured and came out – I also now have two cavities. I am befuddled. I wonder if not using fluoride toothpaste, drinking Kangan water, or old age is my problem.

    Would love to hear back if you can muddle through the above mess.

    Wanda

  7. Your are probably right about the oral benefits. I started googling around specifically about oral health and alkaline water and didn’t find a whole lot. In fairness, you are presenting mostly opinion here logical or not.

  8. I started using alkaline water 6 months ago and also noticed I started having dental problems, lost 4 molars and 3 fillings done and even had a crown came off in the short span of 4 months. I use the mavello which claimed they use coral calcium from Japan and I also worry about radioactive contamination now with reports of even fish contaminated with radiation.

  9. Kangen water is not just alkaline water. One of the properties of the water is the microclustering. Instead of 12 molecules there are only 5. These small molecules are able to go to places in the body where no other water can go. The most important property is the high antioxidants. Green tea has a negative ORP of -26 and Kangen water has a negative ORP starting at -400. The fact that the SD-501 is a medical device in Japan should give everyone pause.

  10. I have recently gone through chemotherapy at 35 years old, and I started drinking alkaline water to get more hydrated. It has really helped my energy levels! But, I too, have started noticing some dental problems. My teeth (I have never even had a cavity) are turning sensitive and translucent. I have researched to find out if any of the chemo meds could do that, or the tamoxifen that I am on could do it, but I can’t find anything. The only thing I have changed in my diet is the water. I don’t drink a lot of caffeinated drinks, or eat sugar. I got to thinking, lemon water is high alkaline water – but the lemon erodes your enamel. Could the alkaline water be doing that to me? I have got to get to the bottom of this! I miss my white teeth!

  11. Hi Tom
    Thank you for your response to my question regarding the effects of Alkaline water on one’s teeth.
    Please understand that I totally respect you opinion as a Dentist. I do understand also, that your skepticism could come from lack of experience with alkaline water, and also from the negative information that abounds the internet. I know it is very easy to be swayed by constant volumes of negative information.

    However, I graciously applaud the posters who have bravely spoken up in defense of alkaline water.
    I am a Kangen Water respresentative and have had numerous positive testimonials from persons who have bought the water generators from me. I too, have been using alkaline water for over seven years and have not had any adverse effects from doing so.

    The Kangen Water generator is sold as a medical device in Japan, and the company has had many awards and citations of achievement both here and abroad. When the generators were first brought to the US it was common to the Japanese community only. Now, a lot of medical practitioners are using alkaline water to treat cancer, since it is common knowledge that cancer cells cannot thrive in an alkaline environment.

    Some time ago, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a family friend who was stricken with cancer and who had traveled all the way to Rome to receive a special treatment for cancer. What was the special treatment? Immersion in an alkaline bath for consecutive days! myself, Alkaline water was the only medium used so here the Italians are doing alkaline water in a different way.

    Here is a video link that features Medical Doctors, and a Dentist, talking about alkaline water:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZih1HtfMNI

    This link has more information from medical and science personnel
    http://humanbodyworks.com/kangen-water-doctors-scientists-nutritionists

    I would be happy to know your thoughts.

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