What Are the Benefits of a Saltwater Mouthwash?
A tickly or sore throat is no fun, but it also likely indicates that you have an infection. Flu and strep are notorious for producing these symptoms. Most people immediately think of over-the-counter or prescribed medications. However, there is another route that will save you money and is proven to provide relief.
Gargling and rinsing your mouth with salt water is not just an old wives’ tale. There are several benefits to a saltwater mouthwash – rinsing and gargling saltwater – that you should consider.
Whenever you have an infection that impacts the throat, mucus, bacteria, allergens, and viruses are the most common causes. A mouthwash solution of salt and water swished all around the mouth will help draw out, break down, and remove infections. Gargling will have the same benefits for the throat while also clearing congestion.
If you have an inflamed or sore throat, rinsing and gargling are a good starting point for finding relief. A process known as osmosis draws out fluid where the infection is thriving. The bacteria that breeds in your gums is also removed, preventing an infection from spreading. Mucus in the throat can make it difficult to breathe and results in nasal congestion. The gargling aspect of this oral health practice breaks down mucus to relieve the symptoms of a sore throat.
Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. The saltwater mouthwash is effective in combating the bacteria producing acid that causes gum disease. If you have an oral yeast infection, gargling salt water is also an effective treatment. Bad breath is eliminated as a secondary benefit of improving oral hygiene and health. Other issues that saltwater may address – all of which can cause bad breath – include bleeding gums, canker sores, and tooth decay.
Rinsing & Gargling Technique
There is no benefit associated with adding more salt than is recommended by your dentist. Half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water will suffice. Using too much salt can harm oral and general health. Dehydration and softening of enamel are just some examples of what can happen if you add more salt.
A saltwater mouthwash should not become part of your daily oral hygiene practices. Two or three times a week will help treat the symptoms of a sore throat. You only need to gargle water at the back of your throat for 30 seconds before swishing around the mouth several times. Always expel the water rather than swallowing. Ingesting too much salt can impact the cardiovascular system and lead to poor heart health. You can repeat this process 3-4 times until the throat begins to feel better.
It is a good idea to practice effective oral hygiene in general. Keeping your mouth free of infection leads to healthier teeth and gums. If you have any concerns about oral or throat infections, reach out to the offices of Nishan Halim, DMD today.
Remember, everyone’s health and safety come first.
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. When treatment plans include specialty work, he coordinates every step with the practitioners you choose from his referral network. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment.