You wake up in the morning with a little tickle in your throat and wonder, is it the first symptom of a cold, the flu, or something worse? Before you rush to the doctor’s office or reach for strong pharmaceutical medicines, consider trying a more natural cure for the pain and irritation of a sore throat—gargling salt water. Full of friendly minerals like Magnesium, calcium, and potassium, salt water can help combat infections, and speed up the healing process.
In this article, we discuss what saltwater gargles are and what conditions they can help treat and prevent. Learn how this simple, natural solution works to keep your smile healthy!
Benefits of a Salt Water Mouth Rinse
When you gargle with saltwater, you are submerging the cells and drawing liquids to the surface, along with any virus and bacteria in the throat. When you spit the saltwater out, you'll rid the body of those germs, as well. According to a study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, rinsing with a salt water solution reduces the amount of plaque in the mouth and helps eliminate microbes that can cause gum disease. Swishing with salt water helps protect the teeth and gums and prevent tooth decay.
Like other mouthwashes, it helps reach areas between the teeth that your toothbrush misses, ensuring your whole mouth is clean. Sea salt has also proven to help wounds heal in the mouth, as a PLOS ONE study concludes. When used as part of a well-rounded oral care routine of brushing and flossing, a salt water mouth rinse can aid in your mouth health. A 2010 evaluation found that using salt water gargles on a daily basis helped lower harmful bacteria counts that are found in saliva. Let’s look at a breakdown.
You don’t have to rely on only toothpaste and mouthwash for your oral hygiene. Including salt water rinses in your routine can aid your brushing and flossing efforts. In addition to fighting plaque, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Sea Salt gargles may help reduce gum inflammation.
Reduce Respiratory Infections
Salt water may make some infections less severe, including:
One small 2015 study found that sea salt gargles did more than just reduce the amount of virus in people’s bodies. It actually increased the virus-battling capabilities of certain cells. A 2005 study by the Mayo Clinic used a test group of 400 people split into two groups. One group was asked to gargle salt water three times a day. The other group was not. After a test run of 60 days during flu season, the group of people who used salt water gargle saw a 40 percent decrease in upper respiratory tract infections compared to the other group. For those who did get sick, their bronchial symptoms were greatly alleviated by the salt water gargle.
Clears Nasal Congestion
Gargling with salt water helps to remove the mucus build-up in your respiratory tract and nasal cavity. The sea salt gargle reduces the inflammation and relieves the pain in the throat. Apart from that, it flushes out the bacteria and virus, which if left unattended can lead to congestion. If you’re suffering from the flu or a cold with head and chest congestion, a salt water gargle can thin the sore-throat-causing mucus build-up in your respiratory tract and nasal cavity.
Maintains the pH level
The mixture helps to neutralize the acids in the throat that are produced by bacteria. It helps to maintain a healthy pH balance, which prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria in the mouth.
Canker sores are painful ulcers that can develop in the mouth. Gargling with salt water may help ease pain and promote healing of the sores. Salt water gargling could reduce the pain and inflammation associated with these sores. A 2016 article included gargling with salt water as a part of a recommended course of treatment for children with a variety of oral issues. Experts also suggest rinsing as part of a gentle self-care routine for mouth sores caused by cancer treatments.
Bleeding gums and toothache
This warm drink also gives relief from bleeding and swollen gums, which are the first signs of gum disease caused by bacteria. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help reduce inflammation and fight the bacteria. Gargling with salt water can also help you get rid of toothache. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people gently rinse the mouth with a warm saltwater solution after having a dental procedure.
Allergies can sometimes aggravate your throat. Salt water gargles can aid in inflammation and discomfort caused by allergic reactions in the nasal passage and throat.
How to gargle salt water
Take a large sip of the salt water, tilt your head back, and gargle for 30 seconds, then swish the water around your teeth and gums before spitting it out. A quarter to a half teaspoon per cup of water will do the trick. Repeat this method until your cup of salt water is finished. If needed, you can repeat these steps every four hours until your sore throat subsides.
Salt water gargles are a natural remedy for a host of common ailments that may be the root cause of your pain. Using a sea salt mouthwash as part of your oral care routine may help reduce bacteria and promote overall mouth health. It could possibly soothe the inflammation in your throat in a matter of hours. If you're shopping for some throat gargles try Laki Naturals Throat Soak found on our website, Whole foods, Amazon, and urban outfitters.