Salt water rinse has been recommended by dentists for years. Though used less often these days and not the cure-all it was once believed to be, it is still a good choice for some.
Many dentists and hygienists recommend other mouthwashes to their clients because there are no studies to prove the effectiveness of salt water mouthwash.
Since most studies are funded by the maker of the product, I suppose it makes sense that no one is eager to test the effectiveness of salt water rinses.
But this simple remedy could still be a good choice and provide relief for minor gum irritations.
There is no dental product that can even come close to competing with the price of a carton of salt used to make warm salt water mouthwash.
No need to run to the store for minor gum irritations, relief may be a close as your kitchen cupboard.
A bad reaction is always possible with any product.
Oral tissue is sensitive and there is nothing worse that using a product that was intended to soothe your mouth only to find that it makes your problem worse because you are sensitive to its ingredients.
Not many are sensitive to salt water.
Those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for cancer may not be able to tolerate stronger mouthwashes.
Dry mouth may be made worse by mouthwash brands that contain alcohol.
Salt water rinses can be diluted as much as needed and the temperature of warm salt water is soothing.
Too much salt is not good for your health and though you are only swishing and spitting, some of it is absorbed or swallowed. Daily use for an extended time is not a good idea.
Salt water is acidic and though it may soothe your gums, could weaken tooth enamel over time and make tooth erosion or decay more likely.
The standard recipe is simple... half a teaspoon of table salt to 8 oz or water. I have seen many variations of this including the addition of baking soda.
I will add my two cents to the basic recipe…
Always mix with a little common sense:)
Like any products this home remedy should not be depended upon entirely. It may soothe a sore area or promote healing after a tooth extraction but for chronic gum problems treatment is usually needed.
Salt water rinse may improve things temporarily but if after a few days the problem still exists you should see your dentist.
Pay attention to the trend of your symptoms. Are they improving, staying the same or getting worse? Anything other than improvement should be treated.
For signs of periodontal disease, click here.