O.O. Oni1, O. Ibiyemi2

  1. Department of Periodontology and Community Dentistry, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. 
  2. Department of Periodontology and Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Background: Fluoride concentration (F conc) in water is a major determinant for the occurrence of dental caries and dental fluorosis. In most homes of rural communities, especially in developing countries, there is a major reliance on sachet water as an alternate low-cost drinking water. This study aims to determine the fluoride concentrations of common commercially packaged sachet water in Ibarapa land, Southwestern, Nigeria.

Methods: An observational study was conducted using convenience sampling of all commercially packaged sachet water for drinking in Ibarapa land, Southwestern, Nigeria. Thirteen samples of sachet water were obtained fromAyete (2), Igboora (6) and Lanlate (5). F conc of the sachet water was determined in triplicate using the Fluoride Ion-Selective Electrode by direct analysis. Temperature and pH of water were also measured. Results were analysed using SPSS version 23.

Results: The F conc, temperature and pH range were 0.03 mgF/l – 2 mgF/l, 26.4OC – 27.2OC and 6.90 – 8.19 respectively. The minimum F conc in all samples was 0.03ppm at pH 6.90 while maximum was 2ppm at pH 7.78. F conc in 2 (15.4%), 8 (61.5%) and 3 (23.1%) water samples were 0.5-0.6 mgF/l, <0.5 mgF/ l and >0.6 mgF/l respectively. No sachet water had fluoride levels printed on their labels.

Conclusion: F conc of the sachet water varied, with the majority of samples having low concentrations. Attention needs to be paid to both low levels and high levels of fluoride in drinking water to ensure safety and protective benefit.

Keywords: Fluoride, Commercial, Sachet, Water, Nigeria.


Dr. O.O. Oni
Dept of Periodontology and
Community Dentistry, University
College Hospital,
Ibadan, Nigeria.
E-mail: ireayodent@yahoo.com
Date of Acceptance: 31st Jan., 2023
Publication Date: June 2023


The concentration of fluoride in water utilised for drinking and cooking is a major determinant for the burden of fluoride related disorders in individuals depending on their exposure rates. 1 Reduced concentration of fluoride in water is a cause for dental caries and increased concentrations cause dental fluorosis. When fluoride is ingested in high quantity, it affects bones, teeth and some other soft tissues in the body like the kidney and the brain.2 One of the discoveries of the twentieth century was the actions of fluoride in the prevention of dental caries during the posteruptive phase and as topical applications, not just in children but also in adult demineralised teeth.3 In teeth and bones, fluoride displaces hydroxyl ions from hydroxyapatite giving rise to fluoroapatite or fluorohydroxyapatite limiting demineralisation. Dental caries, an infectious, multifactorial disease has been associated with tooth pain, loss of school hours and tooth loss 4 while dental fluorosis has been associated with quality of life in individuals.5,6 Until the advent of water fluoridation, the rate of tooth decay was high. However, this subsequently reduced with diverse fluoride applications along with public fluoridated water. Though, communities without water fluoridation continue to suffer the adverse effect of either too little or too high fluoride content of water. This is especially so in rural communities with major reliance on groundwater for drinking and cooking.

Commercially sold bottled water and sachet water are highly favored for drinking in both urban and the rural communities, as a means of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for safe water. The people living in rural communities tend to drink more of water made in sachet bags because of its ease of accessibility and low cost of purchase.7 In Nigeria, the sachet water is mainly referred to as ‘Pure Water’ for the fact that it is believed to be processed water fit for drinking and are therefore in high demand, though its purity is in doubt.8 Previous studies undertaken in Ibarapa communities reported high fluoride content of groundwater.9,10 In these communities, water from deep wells and boreholes after undergoing some purification processes are used to produce sachet water which are then sold. Though regulation exist through National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC Act 1993) and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON Act 2015), for citing of factories and infection control in safe handling and processing of sachet water in Nigeria8, there has been no effort to regulate the fluoride content of commercially packaged water. It is therefore important to investigate the fluoride content of locally produced sachet water for policy formulation to ensure critical limits are considered and adhered to by producers especially in dental fluorosis endemic regions. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine the fluoride concentration of all commercially produced sachet water in the three local government areas of Ibarapa (Ibarapa North, Central and East), Southwestern, Nigeria.