General Dental Informtion

Gargling with salt water

gargling with salt water

Gargling with salt water is a simple home remedy used to overcome and prevent many infectious diseases of the mouth, nose, throat, and sinuses. This method could relieve sore throats and prevent respiratory infections, colds, and sinus infections. Furthermore, gargling with salt water could be used for conditions such as allergies. In the following, the benefits of gargling with salt water, especially for the mouth and teeth, are explained.

How to make saline solution for rinsing the mouth

You can get ready-made saline solution from the pharmacy. If saline solution is not available, you can easily make it by yourself. Making saline solution is a very simple task. To do so, you only need water and salt. It is recommended to use water that has already been boiled and reached room temperature. You should use common or sea salt. Avoid using iodized, colored, aromatic, and flavored salts. To prepare saline solution with suitable salinity, dissolve half a teaspoon (2.5 g) of salt in a glass of water. Pour the saline solution into a completely clean glass container and close the lid. If not used within 24h, throw it away and make a new one.

a man gargling with salt water

A man gargling with salt-water

The correct way of gargling with salt-water

Almost everyone knows how to gargle with salt water. Take a sip of saline solution in your mouth and gargle with it as much as you can. Swirl the saline solution well in your mouth and throat then spit it out. You will get rid of mouth and throat infections by spitting the saline solution out. The saline solution should not be swallowed, because, in addition to its salty taste, it causes dehydration and calcium deficiency and increases blood pressure.

Should salt water be gargled before brushing and flossing the teeth or after that?

In general, the best time to gargle with saline solution is after brushing and flossing the teeth. It is important to brush your teeth properly, clean between the teeth by flossing then, disinfect your mouth and throat by gargling with salt water. However, it is not recommended to use saline solution on a daily basis and better to use it two to three times a week.

Rinsing mouth and teeth after gargling with salt water

After gargling with saline solution, it is even better not to wash the mouth so that the solutes remain in the mouth. However, if the salty taste bothers your mouth and throat or if you gargle with saline before going to bed, you can drink some lukewarm water after a few minutes to remove the salty taste from your mouth.

Uses of gargling with salt water

Saline solution has many applications. Due to its antiseptic properties, this solution is used for treatment and prevention of most infectious diseases such as sore throat and mouth and gum infections. In the following, some of the most important applications of saline solution are presented.

Effect of salt water on reducing toothache

A Toothache could happen for many reasons, the most important of which is gingivitis and dental abscess. Gargling with lukewarm salt water could temporarily relieve inflammation and toothache. This gives you time to visit a doctor as soon as possible.

a woman with gingivitis

A woman with gingivitis

Effect of gargling with salt water in case of gingivitis and dental abscess

Gingivitis and abscess occur due to the presence of bacteria in the oral cavity. Gargling with salt water on a regular basis removes infectious fluids in the gingival tissue and improves infection. Moreover, strengthening the gums could prevent infection in the future.

This method could heal the abscess through osmosis. In such a case, the sodium chloride in contact with cells removes bacterial fluid and infectious agents from that area. This reduces infection and abscess.

Effect of saline solution on strengthening gums and reducing gingivitis

Strengthening gum strength and reducing gingivitis are among the most important effects of saline solution. Saline solution increases osmotic pressure in the mouth and, consequently, reduces gingivitis to a great extent and increases gum strength. Furthermore, saline solution allows the gums to be more resistant to bacteria, pathogens, balance the pH level in the mouth, reduce gingivitis, and finally increases gum strength. Specialists believe that saline solution prevents bacterial growth by reducing oral cavity acidity.

Adjusting the pH will prevent growth of pathogens in the oral cavity and, as a result, the gums will become healthier and stronger.

Effect of washing mouth with salt water on preventing oral thrush

Oral thrush is a fungal infection that causes white lesions and painful spots on the tongue, gums, tonsils and lips. This type of fungal infection could be accompanied by pain, burning sensation and even make swallowing difficult. Saline solution alone is not able to cure this problem. However, gargling with salt water could accelerate the healing process and relieve pain and burning sensation.

Benefits of saline solution for sore throat

Relieving sore throat is among the most common uses of saline solution. Sore throat may occur due to bacterial growth in the throat. Gargling with salt water could kill these bacteria and relieve sore throat.

You should gargle with salt water between 15-30 sec each time then, spit it out and repeat this process several times. Finally, swirl the solution in your mouth and spit it out. Doing this process regularly will accelerate sore throat treatment and reduce gingivitis.

Saline solution FAQ

1- What is the problem of using high amounts of salt in saline solution for oral tissue?

The high amount of salt in saline solution could cause damage to the tooth enamel or oral tissue. The amount of salt in the water should be low, i.e., its saltiness should not be felt so much and the solution should be dilute.

2-Can children gargle with salt water?

Gargling with salt water is suitable for all ages. However, your child should know how to gargle so as not to accidentally swallow salt water because its salty taste may cause them to cough or suffocate.

3- Is saline solution effective for canker sore treatment?

Yes, canker sore is a type of mouth sore that could be healed and eliminated by regularly gargling with salt water and disinfecting the oral cavity.

Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

About Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

Dr. Jamilian, an orthodontist, has a specialized fellowship in orthodontic surgery and maxillofacial abnormalities and is a professor in the orthodontics department of the Dentistry School of the Islamic Azad University. He is member of Iranian and European Board of Orthodontics (EBO) and is a member of the Iranian, American and European Orthodontists Association.

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