Dental Procedure Pain: Get the Facts

Should You Use A Salt Water Rinse Rather Than A Mouthwash?

Salt has natural antibacterial, antiseptic, and healing properties. In some cases, it can help you manage oral health problems if you mix it with water to make your own mouthwash.

However, you should take some time to understand how salt might affect your teeth and gums before you start using a rinse regularly. What do you need to know?

Salt Water Rinses Can Have Healing Properties

Dentists sometimes recommend that patients use a salt water rinse after certain treatments. For example, your dentist might tell you to rinse with salty water after a surgical procedure such as a tooth extraction.

Here, the salt helps clean and sanitize the wound site. It helps it heal faster. It also helps you keep the area free from infection.

Sometimes, a saltwater rinse can also help you manage discomfort when you are having other dental treatments. For example, a regular daily rinse can help reduce gum inflammation and soreness when you are having treatment for gum disease. The salt draws out fluids to reduce swelling and has a mild antiseptic effect.

A salt water rinse also helps you manage tooth pain if you have to wait to see your dentist. It won't cure a toothache, but it could make the tooth feel less sore until you have it repaired.

Salt Water Rinses Can Have Negative Effects on Oral Health

While dentists recommend a salt water rinse in certain circumstances, they might not recommend that you use this rinse on a daily basis forever. You might think that a homemade rinse is better than a commercial mouthwash, but this isn't always the case.

Saltwater can change the natural pH balance in your mouth; regular mouthwashes are designed to maintain this balance. If your pH levels change, then the enamel on your teeth might grow weaker over the years. This could cause problems with tooth sensitivity and decay.

Plus, too much salt will dry out your mouth. It might also affect your saliva flow. You need a constant flow of saliva to wash bacteria away from your teeth and gums. If bacteria can sit in your mouth for too long, then they can cause damage.

To find out more about the pros and cons of salt water rinses, talk to your dentist. If you're using a rinse because you have a problem with your teeth and gums, then they can investigate the problem for you. They can also give you advice on general dental care oral health rinses that might be a better way of keeping your mouth clean and fresh.