If you have avoided the dentist throughout the years, you may have relied on home remedies for your oral health needs. While natural or home remedies may help improve some of the symptoms associated with toothaches or gum disease, they are no substitute for regular visits to your dentist. One common home remedy that you may have tried is using a saltwater rinse. Before using saltwater rinses on a regular basis, consider the following effects they may have on your overall health:
Reduces Gingival Bleeding
Bleeding gums may simply mean that you are brushing or flossing too hard or incorrectly. Also, if you take aspirin or prescription anticoagulant medications, you may notice that your gums bleed profusely at the slightest touch. In addition to these reasons, bleeding gums may also mean that you have gingivitis, or gum disease.
Rinsing your mouth out with a mild saltwater solution may help stop your gums from bleeding because salt can help reduce gingival inflammation. Saltwater rinses also have potent antibacterial properties, which means that if your gums are infected, the salt solution may help decrease the oral bacterial count, which will help heal your gums. Make sure that the saltwater solution is not too hot and that you don't keep it in your mouth for too long because this can further damage irritated gum tissue.
Potential To Raise Blood Pressure
If you have hypertension, or high blood pressure, your physician may have recommended that you limit your sodium intake. While you probably will not swallow a saltwater oral rinse, if you use it frequently, the solution can be absorbed through your mouth and find its way into your circulation.
If it does, it may raise your blood pressure and may have the potential to diminish renal function if too much sodium is absorbed into your system. Before using saltwater to ease a canker sore or to improve the condition of your gums, talk to your family doctor.
While an occasional saltwater rinse may not affect your overall health or raise your blood pressure, your physician may recommend that you limit your exposure to them and instead rely on your dentist for further treatment.
Before using home remedies such as saltwater rinses for your oral health needs, schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she will perform a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums and will determine which treatment options are best suited for your particular situation.