Gargling with salt water is a safe, simple, and inexpensive home remedy. To make it work, you need only two ingredients: salt and water. You can use it to treat sinus infections, colds, and sore throats, but it can also help with allergies and certain dental issues.
But what are some other gargling with salt water benefits? How often can you use this natural therapy? Is it safe to do it every day? Keep reading to find out!
4 Gargling with Salt Water Benefits
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You’ve probably heard about this natural remedy from your grandma. However, both research and modern science recommend salt water gargles as a helpful treatment for several minor health conditions.
Studies have shown salt to help pull water out of oral tissues while also forming a salt barrier that prevents water and dangerous bacteria from entering. That’s why this natural remedy is useful for controlling bacteria and viruses, minimizing the risk of infections in the mouth and throat. In some cases, it can even soothe inflammation.
Gargling with salt water benefits include:
1. Relieving Sore Throat
Your doctor can recommend gargling with salt water if you have a mildly sore throat caused by a cold or flu. In more severe cases, you might have to combine salt water with ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
2. Improving Dental Health
As mentioned, gargles may be useful for enhancing gum and dental health because salt water draws away bacteria and fluid while preserving the gums. They are also beneficial for preventing cavities, periodontitis, and gingivitis.
3. Easing Canker Sores
Canker sores, commonly known as mouth ulcers, are another health issue you can treat with salt water. Just as with sore throat, you can alleviate some of the pain and inflammation with daily gargling.
4. Help with Allergies
Some allergies, for instance, cat and dog dander or pollen, cause throat inflammation. In such cases, gargling with salt water can help deal with symptoms.
How to Gargle with Salt Water
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For every 8 ounces of water, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt. It would be best to use warm water because it’s more soothing.
Take a large sip and gargle the water in your throat for about thirty seconds. After that, swirl the water around your mouth and teeth. When you’re done, it would be best to spit it out. Drinking too much salt water can cause high blood pressure and calcium deficiency.
Is It OK to Gargle Salt Water Every Day?
Adults and children over the age of 6 can safely gargle with salt every day to treat a sore throat or other health issues. In most cases, it’s enough to gargle twice a day. However, you can do it every four to six hours if necessary.
How Long Should You Gargle Salt Water?
You can gargle with salt water daily for the duration of your cold or other oral health issues. However, you should call your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve after three days.
That said, when healthy, it’s not recommended to gargle with salt water every day. Saltwater is acidic and can break down your teeth’ enamel if used too often. Gargling once or twice every couple of days should be enough to maintain oral health.