Question & Answer

Does sparkling water make a difference to tooth health?

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The Evidence

  • Sparkling water (carbonated water) contains carbon dioxide but no added sugar. Carbonation can occur naturally in water, such as water from mineral springs, or it can be added artificially by adding carbon dioxide into still water under pressure. The acid content in carbonated water depends on the amount of carbon dioxide present.
  • Tooth enamel (the outermost layer of the tooth) is the hardest substance in the body. But, the acid in carbonated water and beverages can harm it.
  • The harm is in the form of dental erosion where there is continuous loss of enamel, leading to sensitivity and pain.
  • We looked for studies assessing the effect of sparkling water on tooth health. We did not find any studies or systematic reviews on this topic.
  • However, we found a study that looked at the level of acidity by performing the pH analysis of still and carbonated bottled water. The study found that the pH of some brands of carbonated water is slightly acidic (pH below 5.2 to 5.5) , while others are above 5.5 to 6.5.
  • Harm to dental enamel is expected to occur at a pH value of below 5.5. Consumption of carbonated water with a pH lower than 5.5 could potentially affect the tooth enamel.

Guidelines and recommendations

  • We searched several national and international organisations including WHO, ECDC, HSE, and HSPC for related guidelines and recommendations.
  • We did not find any guidelines or recommendations on the use of sparkling water.

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has mentioned Sparkling water as a beverage option besides water as low or no calorie beverage but there is no mention about its effect on teeth.

Things to Remember

  • People often think about the benefits of things and ignore possible harms
  • Unless there is a comparison between people who use sparkling water and those who don’t, we can’t really be sure of its effect on teeth.


  • Lead Researcher: Dr. Pradnya Kakodkar, Doctoral Researcher, Dentistry & Health Sciences, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), India.
  • Reviewed by: Dr. Paula Byrne, Senior post-doctoral researcher, iHealthFacts, Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Cochrane Ireland, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Galway.
  • Topic advisor: Dr. Sinéad Lydon, Associate Professor, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, University of Galway.
  • Public and Patient advisor: Anne Daly, Public and Patient Involvement in Research (PPI) Advisor, PPI Ignite, University of Galway.
  • Journalist Advisor: Dr. Claire O’Connell,  PhD in Cell Biology, Masters in Science Communication. Contributor to The Irish Times, writing about health, science and innovation.

Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors have no financial or other conflicts of interest for this health claim summary.