Why Is Salt Water Good For Your Oral Health?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website.
Medically reviewed by Danielle Romatz, RDH

Salt water, also known as saline in some situations, is water with a high concentration of dissolved salts, usually sodium chloride. The Sodium found in water aids the regulation of fluid balance and helps the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles. Your body uses salt to control blood volume and pressure. But how does it impact your oral health?

Salt water has a range of benefits for oral health. It can help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums, and it can help treat wounds, swollen gums, and sore throats. Although salt water is effective at treating gum disease, it cannot cure diseases entirely.

While salt, and in particular salt water, has many health benefits, you must use it with caution. Too much of anything can have adverse effects, salt water included. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. So let’s take a look at what salt water can do for you and how to use it properly.

What Effects Does Salt Water Have on Your Teeth?

Glass of water with tea spoon full of salt above

Saltwater rinses can enrich tooth health in different ways. These benefits include preventing infection after dental treatments, freshening your breath, cleaning areas where your toothbrush can’t reach and, improving overall oral health and cleanliness.

Beyond the disinfecting properties of salt water, it can also aid in the treatment of oral health issues such as toothaches, allergies, and canker sores. Saltwater rinses also help to improve dental health by aiding the reduction of bacteria and plaque while preventing infection after dental procedures.

Does Salt Water Strengthen Your Teeth?

You may be looking for ways to strengthen your teeth, especially if you’re an adult. Tooth enamel tends to wear away as we age, leaving teeth more vulnerable to damage and decay.

Gargling with salt water removes food debris from loose teeth and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, thereby strengthening your teeth.

Mix a tablespoon of normal, run-of-the-mill table salt (example on Amazon) into 6 ounces of warm water and vigorously swish the mixture around in your mouth. The swishing movement of the saltwater will dislodge food debris caught in between your teeth and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Do this for at least a minute before you rinse, spit, and repeat.

This process will eliminate hidden germs because it creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which makes it difficult for germs to survive. It also provides your gum and teeth with the space to become stronger.

Can Salt Water Be Harmful to Your Teeth and Gums?

Salt water in excess can be dangerous. Since it’s acidic, gargling with salt water too often will dry out the gums. This has the potential to cause dry mouth. It can also damage the enamel on your teeth when done too frequently.

Therefore, it’s advisable not to gargle salt water too frequently, especially for people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure.

It’s also advisable to take lots of water throughout the day to neutralize the effects of the saltwater rinses. If you feel any discomfort from rinsing with salt water, you should cut back on its use.

While salt water can help reduce swelling and pain and soothe bleeding gums or aches caused by gingivitis, salt can weaken your teeth in high quantities. High concentrations of salt can cause your body to lose more calcium than required. This is a ticket to osteoporosis and tooth loss.

Can Salt Water Heal Gum Infections or Cuts in Your Mouth?

Salt and Water

Salt water can help treat gum infections and cuts in your mouth. Gargling with salt water creates an alkaline environment in the mouth, which is not conducive to the growth of bacteria. This clears out any germs in gum infections or ulcers in the mouth and promotes gum healing.

Plaque and bacteria can be removed from your teeth and gums using salt water. Gum infections, which result in swollen gums, can also be treated with salt water. But although saltwater is quite useful in treating gum disease, it cannot cure it.

For this reason, and because of the harmful nature of excess salt water, it is still advisable to see the dentist for the total removal of bacteria or infection in the mouth.

Salt water is good for cuts on the gums, and it helps in the healing of gum disease-related injuries. It also reduces inflammation and increases the effectiveness of rinsing to remove food and other particles from the teeth and gums.

To avoid any issues from too much salt, use salt water for short durations when acute problems arise and to aid in the healing process. It can help reduce the bacterial load present in the mouth but should be used in moderation.

Leave a Comment