Are swimming pools safe for the teeth?

Experts at the New York University College of Dentistry have issued a warning to users of backyard swimming pools. “The damage can be permanent”, said researcher Dr Leila Jahangiri, “improperly maintained pool chlorination in swimming pools can cause rapid and excessive erosion of dental enamel,"

Dr. Jahangiri continued: “It is a difficult balance to maintain home pools properly. Proper pool chlorine and pH levels need to be monitored and maintained on a weekly basis.” Doing the work themselves can be cost-effective for pool owners, she adds, but carries some consequences.

"Maintenance by a professional pool service may cost thousands of dollars a season, so many homeowners try and maintain their pools themselves,” Dr. Jahangiri said. “Improper pH levels can result in irreversible damage to one’s teeth.”

The effects of improper pH levels were observed by Dr. Jahangiri and colleagues who authored an as-yet unpublished paper called "Severe and Rapid Erosion of Dental Enamel from Swimming: A Clinical Report."

Their research was based on a 52-year-old male whose main complaints included “extremely sensitive teeth,” dark staining and rapid enamel loss over a five-month period beginning in May of 2010.


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