Stern warning about kombucha's 'painful' side effects

The popularity of kombucha has prompted a Sydney dentist to warn consumers of the fermented drink to consider its impact on their teeth, not just their guts.

The black or green tea fermented beverage has been spruiked to contain beneficial bacteria which some say supports gut health.

While it may come in a variety of sweet, bubbly, low-sugar flavours - Dr Lewis Ehrlich warns people not be lured in by its claim to be healthy.

Instead, he says shoppers should be more concerned about its acidity, and what this could be doing to the appearance and sensitivity of our teeth.

“Kombucha is very popular these days but has an approximate pH of 2.5-3.2,” he explained.

“To compare, soft drinks have a pH of approximately 2.3-2.9,” the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre dentist wrote in a post to Facebook.

Dr Ehrlich showed what damage from too much kombucha could do to teeth. Source: Facebook/Dr Lewis Ehrlich

He said this was cause for concern because tooth enamel started to erode at a pH level of below 5.5.

“Kombucha has been hailed as good for gut health, among other things, and that may be true, but is another example of linear, rather than holistic thinking.

“Most think ‘good for gut health, therefore good for me’. But a key question in any health decision is ‘what else is this seemingly healthy choice doing to the rest of my body?’.”

‘Eroding away the hardest substance in your body’

“It could be argued that if a drink has the ability to erode away the hardest substance in the body (tooth enamel is approximately 10x harder than bone), then to call it truly ‘healthy’ is debatable.

The Sydney dentist encouraged people to search elsewhere to restore their gut health. Source: Facebook/Dr Lewis Ehrlich & File/Getty Images

He encouraged his followers to consider other methods to restore their gut health that didn’t compromise the health of their teeth.

“I would be looking to restore gut health in other ways without the collateral damage of tooth erosion which can result in pain, sensitivity and weakening of teeth,” Dr Ehrlich.

“From a dental standpoint, this is definitely a very ‘occasional’ drink as much as I like them.”

Dr Ehrlich shared some photos of teeth to illustrate the damage that could result from consuming too many beverages like kombucha.

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