Salt provides a nutrient vital to our survival. Its main component, sodium, helps nerves and muscles function correctly, and it helps regulate our body’s water content. Salt is also a natural disinfectant that can help your mouth heal.
Salt in the wound
We often recommend salt water mouthwash rinses when you have a canker sore or after an extraction. It reduces bacteria and swelling, which allows your mouth to heal.
Why not just use a mouthwash?
Mouthwash is not always your best choice post-surgery. Many mouthwashes have alcohol in them – some as much as 20%, which can irritate wounds rather than heal them. In fact, according to TodaysDentistry.com, long-term use of mouthwashes containing alcohol can increase the risk of mouth or oral cancer.
Salt water: A great short-term solution
Even though salt water rinses are good for soft tissues, they are not so good for hard surfaces like tooth enamel. Salt is acidic, so it could eat away and soften the enamel on the teeth, making them more susceptible to wearing, chipping and cavities.
To talk with our dentists or hygienists about how you can optimize your dental health, make an appointment today. And if you want more tips on dental health, download our free ebook, Ten Secrets to Dental Health.