3 Oral Health Benefits of a Salt Water Rinse

Posted on: June 11, 2024 | Blog

health benefits of a salt water rinse

Salt water has been used for centuries to help fight infections and bacteria. Used alongside general oral health routines like brushing and flossing, rinsing with salt water is an easy and affordable way to fight germs. Let’s take a look at a few of the oral health benefits of a salt water rinse.

3 Oral Health Benefits of a Salt Water Rinse

Sea water and salt water has been used for literally thousands of years to help heal wounds and fend off infections. Though we now have more effective methods for healing wounds, fighting germs, and fighting infections, a salt water rinse can still be effective in many ways. Used alongside regular brushing, flossing, and dental appointments, a salt water rinse can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

1. Fighting Germs

Twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and dental cleanings every six months is the best way to fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. A salt water rinse can help with this regimen. Though the evidence is somewhat mixed, in some studies, a regular salt water rinse helped to reduce populations of bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Though it is not specific to oral health, salt water rinses can also help to kill germs that accumulate and multiply in the upper respiratory tract, and cause respiratory illnesses.

It isn’t completely clear why salt water helps to fight off bacteria. It may be the case that salt water creates an environment that is more difficult for bacteria to live and reproduce in. Salt water also promotes the movement of fluid from cells, which may draw out bacteria’s intracellular fluid through plasmolysis.

2. Healing Sores and Ulcers

There are many different types of sores, ulcers, and blisters that might affect your lips, gums, or tongue. Some of these might be a symptom of illness, some might be caused by irritation or certain foods, and others might be caused by dentures or braces. Many of these sore spots are accompanied by inflammation, irritation, and pain. A salt water rinse can help to reduce these issues, and possibly help the sore heal faster. Evidence suggests that regularly using a salt water rinse can help wounds heal faster, and help reduce irritation.

3. Reducing Bad Breath

Bad breath is a common problem that can be embarrassing and difficult to solve. Many mouthwashes use ethanol alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation, and might not be an option for health reasons. A salt water rinse can help reduce bad breath without using ethanol alcohol.

Bad breath is caused by bacteria, and worsened by conditions like dry mouth. Dry mouth makes it more difficult for saliva to wash the bacteria away, and allows the bacteria to multiply instead. Medications that cause dry mouth can therefore worsen bad breath. Some may make the argument that salt water can also dry out the mouth, but alcohol-based mouthwashes can have a similar effect. Salt water is thus a comparable alternative to mouthwash to help fight bad breath, though it will not leave a minty taste in your mouth.

Making a Salt Water Rinse

sea salt

Making a salt rinse is fast and easy. In a regular glass of water, add a half teaspoon to one full teaspoon of salt. Mix the salt until it dissolves in the water. Then, simply swish the water around in your mouth or gurgle it for a few seconds. You might keep salt in the bathroom near your toothbrush so you can rinse with salt water when you brush your teeth, or mix a salt water rinse in the kitchen when you wake up or before you go to sleep.

Remember that a salt water rinse is not a substitute for regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits. But, a salt water rinse can provide some oral health benefits. If you are regularly noticing tooth decay, gum irritation, sores, or persistent bad breath, call your dentist. If you live in the Las Vegas area, contact BDG to make an appointment today.


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