Can Salt Water Help with Periodontal Disease?

Despite the recommendation to brush twice a day and floss at least once, some people still develop gum inflammation. This is probably because of either poor brushing skills or lack of professional teeth cleaning, which causes plaques to accumulate.

Plaques can harden and form tartar, the primary cause of gum disease. This is often characterized by gum bleeding, pain, and swelling. While you may use several periodontal disease treatments, home remedies such as salty water can work great in the early stages of gum disease.

How Can Salt Water Help?

The use of salt for medicinal purposes dates back to 1600 B.C as it is believed that it could dry out and disinfect the wounds. A recent study reported that rinsing the mouth with salt water can help with your oral health. Salt is a natural disinfectant that helps with gum disease in a few ways:

  • It removes loose debris and cleans the teeth and gums
  • Reduces inflammation and swelling and soothes the gums
  • It helps to get rid of decay and plaques
  • Relieves bad breath

To use salt effectively, mix a ½ teaspoon with lukewarm water then swish it in the mouth for 30 seconds, and repeat two to three times a day.

But, take note, using saltwater too often could have negative effects on the enamel. It can erode the teeth making them thin and prone to decay.

What If the Gum Disease Progresses?

Saltwater can help in the very early stages of gum diseases. However, the disease can progress and lead to periodontitis. This is an advanced gum infection that is characterized by swollen, tender, purplish, or bright red gums, bad breath, loose teeth, pain when chewing, receding gums, and pus between the gums. When you develop periodontal disease, you will need other forms of treatments that can help ease the discomfort. Some of the treatments include:

  • Antibiotics

Bacteria is a primary cause of periodontal disease and so antibiotics are often the primary treatment of gum disease. The dentist will prescribe oral and topical antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria.

  • Deep cleaning or scaling

Scaling involves removing the accumulated tartar underneath and along the gum line. The dentist will use a scaler to get remove the calculus.

  • Root planning

Receding gums is an early sign of gum disease and the dentist may perform root planning. This is a procedure that attaches the gums to the surface of the teeth restores the shape and size of the gums.

If these non-surgical treatments do not work, the dentist may recommend surgical operations such as:

  • Flap surgery

As the gum infection advances, pockets will develop that can trap food particles and bacteria, which worsens the situation. Flap surgery is done to repair the pockets and close the tiny spaces where the bacteria can sneak through. The dentist will make incisions in the gums to lift them back and expose the roots. Advanced gum disease often causes bone loss, so periodontitis may recontour the bone before fixing the gums back.

  • Soft tissue graft

A receding gum line is often caused by the loss of soft tissues. The dentist will remove a small amount of tissue from the top of the mouth and reattach it to the affected site. This will stimulate new tissue growth and also prevent further gum recession.

  • Bone grafting

A bone graft is often performed when the gum disease has damaged the supporting bone. The procedure is similar to the tissue graft, where the dentist uses bone granules from your hip or cadaver to stimulate new bone growth.

  • Guided tissue regeneration

The dentist will place a piece of biocompatible fabric between the teeth and the existing bone to prevent unwanted tissue from penetrating the healing area.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

Gum disease is preventable with proper dental hygiene and getting regular teeth cleaning. Professional teeth cleaning helps to remove accumulated plaques and keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Visit U Smile Family Dentistry for more information on gum disease and how you can prevent it.