What Are the Effects of Chlorine on Your Teeth?
Chlorinated pools and hot tubs contain pH levels that can cause enamel erosion on your teeth. Of course, it's unlikely that you swim with your mouth open (if you do, don't), but water tends to seep into your mouth occasionally. A few visits to the local pool a year is unlikely to have any adverse effects. Still, if you swim laps daily or soak in a hot tub every night, the possibilities of enamel erosion on your teeth are real – particularly if you over-chlorinate your pool. The CDC recommends the pH levels of treated water to be between 7.2 and 7.8. The free chlorine concentration should be at least 1 part per million in pools and at least 3 parts per million in hot tubs.
If you notice any of the following symptoms after frequenting chlorinated bodies of water, your tooth enamel may be wearing away (what's called swimmer's calculus). Your teeth may:
- Become discolored.
- The edges of your front teeth may look transparent.
- In later stages, you may feel extreme dental sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods.
Learn more about how enamel erosion can affect your teeth.