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How do Swimming Pools Pose a Risk to Public Health?

Posted on August 4, 2011 | in Dental Care | by

A recent story from dentistry.co.uk, by way of the NYU College of Dentistry, identified improperly maintained swimming pools as a cause in severe and rapid erosion of dental enamel.

The NYU research was first broadcast back in May, but we figured with the dental summer doldrums in full swing, a timely reminder was certainly warranted.

New York University College of Dentistry’s Dr. Leila Jahangiri warns about the dangers of severe and rapid erosion of dental enamel from improperly maintained backyard swimming pools.

The study is titled, “Severe and Rapid Erosion of Dental Enamel from Swimming: A Clinical Report.” (not yet published). With the release of the NYU info, the good doctor and her diligent team aim to build awareness of this little known dental malady.

“Improperly maintained pool chlorination in swimming pools can cause rapid and excessive erosion of dental enamel,” warned Jahangiri, a clinical associate professor and the Chair of NYUCD’s Department of Prosthodontics.

“It is a difficult balance to maintain home pools properly,” Jahangiri contends. “Proper pool chlorine and pH levels need to be monitored and maintained on a weekly basis.”

“Maintenance by a professional pool service may cost thousands of dollars a season, so many homeowners try and maintain their pools themselves,” Jahangiri said.

“Improper pH levels can result in irreversible damage to one’s teeth,” she added.

“If the chemical levels are not properly maintained, pool water contact with teeth can cause serious enamel erosion,” Jahangiri said. Case studies show that the effect occurs when the pH of the water ranges between 2.7 and 7.

According to the NYU press release, the CDC and various dental journals have already
encountered cases of dental enamel erosion due to swimming pool chlorination; including this info on erosion of dental enamel released all the way back in 1983.

Dr. Jahangiri and team believe that common awareness of the subject is insufficient.

We agree.

Go forth and help spread the word about proper pool maintenance this summer by sharing this important dental health info with all of your Facebook friends!

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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