Can polluted drinking water ruin people’s teeth?



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    Yes. Pollution of drinking water can have significant adverse impacts on dental health. Elevated levels of nickel, lead or other heavy metals in drinking water can advance tooth decay. Tooth erosion–the wearing away of the enamel protective coating on teeth–has also been blamed as a potential effect of contaminated drinking water. Ironically, dentists themselves may be a significant source of water pollution. Dental wastewater containing mercury has been identified as a source of water pollution, which is why some states and municipalities (for example, California) require licensed dentists to take measures to prevent and remediate this potential source of water pollution.

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