Should You Rinse with Salt Water if You Have Denture Sores?
Posted on 2/29/2020 by Keith Boenning, DDS
If you wear dentures, especially if you're new to wearing dentures, you may notice that you have developed sores in your mouth. These sores can be painful, and they may even get infected.
Often, they're a sign that your dentures no longer fit quite right. This can often happen over the years as the shape of your mouth slightly changes with age. No matter what the cause, you may be tempted to rinse your mouth with salt water to help them heal. But is this really a good remedy?
Why Salt Water?
Rinsing your mouth with salt water is a well-known home remedy for mouth pain of all sorts, but is it really effective? It actually can be. Warm salt water helps kill bacteria in the mouth, and it can promote healing as well. However, while it does work, studies have also shown that salt water rinses aren't as effective as using certain mouthwashes. These mouthwashes, especially those that use potassium aluminum sulfate, are much better for killing bacteria. If you don't have one of these mouthwashes, though, salt water can be a good alternative to killing the bacteria in and around your sores.
How Do You Do a Salt Water Rinse?
The first step in rinsing your mouth with salt water is to create the rinse itself. Fill a glass with warm water and then add about a teaspoon of salt. Remove your dentures. Next, rinse out your mouth with the salt water, swishing it back and forth for about 30 seconds. Spit out the water. You can repeat this several times a day to help keep the bacteria under control and reduce any swelling around the sore.
However, it is important to note that a salt water rinse is not likely to kill all of the bacteria if you have an infection. It cannot get below the surface of the gums. Give us a call and schedule an appointment if you have denture sores that are infected so we can discuss treatment.