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Lemon Water – Is It Really Worth It?

We’ve read many health blogs available online who herald the healthy benefits of adding lemon to water. However, we’re here to bring a controversial voice to the lemon water table – we believe that it’s detrimental to your teeth.

Let us explain why.

Acid weakens our tooth enamel

The saliva in our mouths, besides helping us to chew and digest food, is also designed to defend our teeth against acid. Excessive acid weakens tooth enamel and overwhelms the saliva’s ability to protect the teeth.

This subsequently wears out the protective tooth enamel layer and exposes our teeth to serious dental issues such as tooth decay and thin enamel from dental erosion.

Lemons are highly acidic

Going back to science class, we measure acidity using a pH scale. The higher the pH number, the less acidic it is. Neutral is pH 7, while soap is pH 10 (not acidic at all) and stomach acid is pH 1 (extremely acidic).

Our mouth environment only needs to be pH 5.5 for your tooth enamel to start dissolving.

The acidity in lemons measure as pH 2 – this is only one step above the acidity of stomach acid!

High acidity direct contacting teeth wears out tooth enamel

The extreme acidity of lemons making direct contact onto your teeth is very harsh on tooth enamel.

A few weeks of these extreme acid attacks on teeth with lemon water, and it will erode and dissolve the enamel on your teeth. Once dissolved, tooth enamel can never recover and the result is a lifetime of extremely sensitive teeth.

Lemon’s not the bad guy

We’re not saying to cut out lemons completely. The main problem is that water is an effective vehicle for lemon juice to make direct contact with your teeth. Lemon squeezed over meals are fine, as the food provides cover from the acidity for your teeth.

Controversial maybe, but at our dental clinic in Blackburn we’ve seen the terrible effects of tooth enamel erosion from lemon water. Once dissolved, there is very little we as dentists can prescribe for treatment.

Rather, we’d love to practice our preventative dentistry philosophy and ask you to weigh up the pros and cons of drinking lemon water.

As dental professionals we don’t think it’s worth it, but if you’d like to know more about lemon water and your teeth, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Image credit: “Lemon Water” by RedBull Trinker is licensed under CC BY 2.0.