Can Salt Water Heal a Gum Infection? [Well, It's Complicated...] — Burlington Dental Center (2024)

Limitations & Precautions

While the use of salt water rinses can be beneficial in supporting oral health, it is crucial to understand their limitations. It is essential to emphasize that salt water is not a cure for gum infections. It can provide temporary relief from symptoms such as swelling, pain, and bleeding, but it does not address the underlying causes of gum infections. For comprehensive treatment and prevention of further complications, professional dental intervention is necessary.

Overuse of salt water rinses can potentially lead to other oral health issues.

  • For instance, excessive use of salt can disrupt the balance of the oral microbiome and may lead to dryness in the mouth, potentially increasing the risk of cavities and other oral health problems.

  • It is important to use salt water rinses judiciously and follow recommended guidelines to avoid any adverse effects.

Individuals experiencing persistent or severe symptoms of gum infection should not delay seeking professional dental care. Early intervention is key to preventing the progression of gum disease and ensuring optimal oral health.

Alternative & Complementary Treatments

In addition to salt water rinses, there are several other home remedies that people might consider for alleviating symptoms of gum infections. These include rinses with hydrogen peroxide, applying a cold compress to the affected area, and using over-the-counter pain relievers. However, like salt water rinses, these remedies provide temporary relief and are not substitutes for professional dental care.

  • For long-term management and treatment of gum infections, professional treatments are necessary.

  • These might include deep cleaning procedures, such as scaling and root planing, and in more severe cases, surgical interventions might be required.

  • Additionally, the dentist might prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help control the infection and alleviate symptoms.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential in preventing gum infections. This includes regular brushing and flossing, maintaining a healthful diet, and attending regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Adopting a comprehensive oral hygiene routine can significantly reduce the risk of gum infections and contribute to overall oral health and well-being.

Final Thoughts

The use of salt water has stood the test of time as a beneficial home remedy for supporting oral health, especially in providing temporary relief for symptoms associated with gum infections. Its antibacterial properties and ability to reduce inflammation and remove debris can certainly contribute to a healthier oral environment.

Salt water rinses should be seen as a supportive measure rather than a standalone treatment for gum infections. They can be a helpful adjunct in your oral care routine, but they cannot replace the expertise and comprehensive care provided by dental professionals.

Gum infections, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications, making timely and professional dental care indispensable.

Maintaining good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, forms the cornerstone of preventing gum infections. By incorporating salt water rinses judiciously and seeking professional care when needed, you can ensure the health and longevity of your gums and overall oral health.


What does salt water do to gum abscess?

Salt water rinses can help to cleanse the area around a gum abscess and may assist in drawing out some of the pus, providing temporary relief. The salt creates an environment which can help to reduce inflammation and bacteria, alleviating some pain and discomfort. However, it is important to note that while salt water can provide temporary relief, it does not replace the need for professional dental care. A gum abscess is a serious condition that requires prompt attention from a dentist.

Does salt water stop infection?

Salt water can help to inhibit bacterial growth and reduce inflammation, which may aid in preventing the spread of infection. However, it does not "stop" an infection in the way that antibiotics or other medical interventions might. It can be used as a supportive measure in maintaining oral hygiene and managing symptoms, but it is not a cure for infections. Professional dental or medical intervention is necessary to fully address an infection.

What kind of salt is best for gum infection?

For making a salt water rinse to help manage symptoms of a gum infection, it is generally recommended to use regular table salt or sea salt. It is important to ensure the salt is fully dissolved in warm water to create a saline solution. The concentration doesn't need to be high; a teaspoon in a cup of warm water is a common recommendation. Iodized or non-iodized salt can be used; there is no strong evidence to suggest that one is superior to the other for this purpose.

Does salt draw out infection in tooth?

Salt water can help to create an environment that may draw out some of the bacteria and pus from an infected tooth, providing temporary relief — but it doesn’t treat or “cure” the infection. The osmotic effect of the salt can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, while its antibacterial properties can aid in disinfecting the area. However, it is crucial to understand that a dental infection requires professional treatment, including antibiotics or potentially dental procedures like a root canal or extraction. Using salt water should not be considered a substitute for seeking dental care.

* Though the author of this post is a licensed dentist in the state of Kansas, this information is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Please use your best judgment and contact emergency medical services in the event of an emergency.

Can Salt Water Heal a Gum Infection? [Well, It's Complicated...] — Burlington Dental Center (2024)


Does salt water draw out gum infections? ›

Gum infection

Saltwater rinses may help with gum infections, by drawing out excess fluid in the infected tissues,” Fremont says.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a gum infection? ›

Antibiotics: Your dentist may recommend antibiotic therapy either in pill form or direct injection into the gum infection site. Gingivectomy: For extreme infections, you may need a Gingivectomy which is the removal of gum tissue.

Can salt water rinse heal periodontitis? ›

Limited Effectiveness: While salt water can help manage mild cases of periodontal disease, it may not be sufficient for treating more severe or advanced stages of the condition. Professional dental care may be necessary.

What kind of salt is best for gum infection? ›

Rinsing with warm saltwater can help relieve tooth pain and offer many other benefits. But what kind of salt is best for a mouth rinse? Table salt can help in a pinch, but Himalayan salt is the far superior choice. Himalayan salt actually has properties that you won't find in table salt.

What draws infection out of gums? ›

Therefore, we have discussed 11 safe ways you can use to pop this infected gum tissue abscess at home easily.
  • Saltwater Rinse. ...
  • OTC (Over the Counter) Medicines. ...
  • A solution of Baking Soda and Saltwater. ...
  • Garlic Paste To The Rescue. ...
  • Apply Cold compression. ...
  • Essential Oil Therapy. ...
  • Herbal Teas: ...
  • Oil Pulling Method.
Aug 15, 2022

What is the strongest natural antibiotic for gum infection? ›

Clove oil, turmeric, tea tree oil, and garlic are some of the most potent natural antibiotics for tooth infections. Incorporating these remedies into your oral care routine helps alleviate current infections and promotes a healthier and more resilient oral environment.

What not to do with a gum infection? ›

Avoid sugary treats, sodas, and fruit juices that can erode tooth enamel and hinder the healing of inflamed or damaged gums. Carbonated beverages, including soda and sparkling water, contain high levels of carbonic acid, which can weaken tooth enamel and potentially interfere with the healing process.

How long does it take for an infection in your gums to go away? ›

Gingivitis is triggered by plaque bacteria which builds up on the teeth and along the gumline. If you effectively disrupt the plaque twice a day you will see a dramatic improvement in your gums. Usually within 2 to 3 weeks. Your gum disease will go away very quickly.

Will salt water draw out an infection? ›

Studies also show that salt water may help reduce infection severity, whether it's from a viral or bacterial infection. This includes: colds.

How to get rid of an abscess without going to the dentist? ›

A tooth abscess will not go away without dental treatment. You may choose to seek relief from symptoms of a tooth abscess by trying natural remedies like saltwater rinses, baking soda, fenugreek tea, cold compresses, garlic, oil pulling, essential oil, or hydrogen peroxide rinses.

How often should you salt water rinse for gum infection? ›

To help fight gum disease you can use a salt water rinse at home every day. Mix a teaspoon of salt water into a small glass of warm water. Do not swallow the water, but gently rinse the water around the mouth for between 15-30 seconds. When you are done spit the water out and repeat the process at least 3 times a day.

Does salt draw out infection in gums? ›

Saline rinses can aid in inhibiting bacterial growth in your mouth. Salt will alter the acidic environment in the mouth where bacteria thrive in. It usually increases the pH inside your mouth, creating a more alkaline environment and inhibiting bacterial growth.

Does rubbing salt on gums help? ›

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.

How long does a salt water rinse take to work? ›

It may take 30 minutes to an hour for a saltwater flush to work, although in some cases it may take longer.

How to drain a gum abscess at home? ›

You won't be able to remove the abscess, but you can ease the pain using these methods:
  1. Apply a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling and numb the pain.
  2. Take over-the-counter pain medication to ease the pain.
  3. Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution to help clean the area and reduce pain.
Nov 27, 2023

Can saltwater get rid of abscesses? ›

While rinsing can provide some relief when you have an abscess, keep in mind that salt water alone won't be enough to clear up the infection. Peppermint tea bags. Some claim that placing wet, cool peppermint tea bags on a dental abscess will help ease the pain.


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