How does a salt water rinse work for toothache/inflamed gums?



I had my wisdom teeth taken out and I’ve been using an anti-bacterial mouthwash (chlorhexidine) but I’ve found a salt water rinse actually works better for getting rid of the pain/inflammation/aching.

So why does something as simple as salt and water work better than a dentist recommended antibacterial mouth wash?

In: Biology



Saltwater is simply a more gentle form of antiseptic rinse. It also acts as a mild anti-inflammatory, as well. If you cannot tolerate the Clorhexidene, then saltwater is the way to go. I do it whenever I happen to eat something too hot (temperature) that burns the inside of my mouth. Soothing to the skin.


warm Salt Water works well because it’s a hypertonic solution, means that the osmotic difference between the solution and the tissues is such that it will pull water OUT of the tissues. The inflammed tissues will have excess water in it, and the hypertonic solution will calm it down by pulling out the water, allowing it to thin down and not be so “angry”. It also acts as a mild disinfectant because the salt solution does the same to any bacteria that are around.