Salt is a key ingredient in many of our favorite foods, from bringing out the flavor of meats and vegetables to enhancing the sweetness of desserts. It’s hard to deny that salt is a staple in many cuisines. While you may know that sugar is bad for your teeth, what about salt? Keep reading to learn more about how salt can affect your smile.
How Salt Can Boost Your Oral Health
Salt water rinses can benefit your gums and teeth. Mix ½ a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water to make this mixture. Rinsing with salt water can have a number of benefits for your oral health, including:
- Sore treatment – Swishing salt water can help to remove harmful germs and bacteria, which may reduce inflammation.
- Mouth wound care – Salt water rinses can help heal oral wounds by fighting bacteria and drawing out excess fluid from canker sores.
- pH restoration – Salt can help to balance the pH levels in your mouth, making it a less hospitable environment for abrasive bacteria.
How Salt Can Hurt Your Smile
While a salt rinse can benefit your mouth, a salty diet can have the opposite effect. Eating a lot of salt can cause oral health issues, like cavities. This is because high-salt foods are often high in carbohydrates, which break down into sugar in the mouth. This sugar feeds the harmful bacteria that lead to tooth decay.
Eating too much salt can also weaken your teeth and bones. This is because when you eat salty foods, your body excretes more calcium through urine. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for strong teeth and bones, so losing too much of it can lead to oral health problems and overall health issues, such as osteoporosis.
How to Get the Most from Sodium
Luckily, it is not that difficult to consume the right amount of salt for a healthy smile. Simply limit the amount of high-sodium foods you consume. By taking away a food source from cavity-causing bacteria, you can lower your risk of tooth decay.
You can also try a salt water rinse to relieve any pain you’re feeling in your mouth, combat harmful oral bacteria, and lower your chances of an oral infection. To make a salt water rinse, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat as needed.
About the Practice
Dr. Dennis C. Ayer provides compassionate, effective, and efficient dental care to patients in Leawood and the surrounding communities. He can help you maintain a healthy, happy, and brag-worthy smile by teaching you about how different foods affect your teeth, such as the impact of salt. If you want to learn more about Dr. Ayer’s services or are ready to schedule an appointment with his team, visit his website or call his office at (913) 246-3000.