The hygienic care of your mouth, teeth and gums is one of the crucial aspects of living a healthy life. Poor oral hygiene can lead to everything from halitosis (bad breath) and gum disease to teeth that need replacing before they should, and eventually, maybe even heart disease.
Brushing is a given, since we know that it helps remove dental plaque, the leading cause of many of your teeth problems. Flossing should be on your radar, too, since it aids in making sure your gums stay strong and healthy. But one thing you may not think about much is how hydration fits into the picture. We all know that drinking plenty of water is good for your body and overall health. But did you know that it also helps your gums?
Gingivitis, or inflamed gums, is one of the more common oral-health issues. It's caused by harmful bacteria that get buried behind plaque and tartar. The good news is that your body has a built-in bacteria fighter. It's called saliva. So where does water come in? When you hydrate your body, it starts with the mouth. Drinking water will help you produce more bacteria-fighting saliva, and in the end, help reduce your chances of gum disease. Not only that, but drinking plenty of water will also help rinse out bacteria that hasn't yet taken root in the plaque.
Salt Water for Your Gums
Salty water won't help you hydrate, but it's very helpful to the human body. Swimming in salt water has been known to help skin conditions and clean and heal wounds. Minerals in salt water can help aching muscles and relieve stress, as well as keep your central nervous system healthy. It's important to note that most of salt's beneficial health properties come when it's diluted in water as opposed to adding it to your food.
When it comes to oral care, salt water can also be beneficial. Rinsing once per day with hot salt water can help to prevent gum disease and plaque buildup. It can also provide immediate relief to sore gums by helping to dehydrate the harmful pathogens in your mouth. This means that salt is helping to kill the bacteria that build up behind your plaque and tartar. For overall gum health or if you have sore gums, try about 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of warm to hot water, making sure it's completely dissolved, and then swish it for 60 seconds.
- "10 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Clean." Readersdigest.ca. September 11, 2011. http://www.readersdigest.ca/health/healthy-living/10-ways-keep-your-teeth-clean
- "Best Gingivitis Treatment Is Prevention Using Your Own Saliva." Themouthdoctor.com. September 11, 2011. http://www.themouthdoctor.com/gingivitis/1-gingivitistreatment.htm/
- "Receding Gums." Goaskalice.coumbia.edu. September 11, 2011. http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/0184.html
- "Salt Water Rinse for Sore Gums." Water.ygoy.com. September 11, 2011. http://water.ygoy.com/salt-water-rinse-for-sore-gums/