Flouride is often considered to be a beneficial element of water, but in Bahrain you can get too much of a good thing – as the parlous state of teeth among the elderly testifies.
The abundant natural spring water contains double the normal levels of fluoride, which can lead to a disease called fluorosis. The condition is associated with a staining of the teeth and a fusion of bones, particularly of the spine.
Studies have revealed that many of the inhabitants of Bahrain’s burial chambers suffered from the same disease. Since the installation of modern water-treatment techniques, fluorosis is thankfully becoming a thing of the past, however, and both tap and mineral water is now safe to drink.