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salt water rinse



Well-known member
Aug 14, 2007
I recently had 2 extractions and one of the instructions was to salt water rinse after each meal for several days(which I am doing faithfully).My question is simply...what does this do?Never really thought about it till after i left the dentist.i'm sure he would have answered if I thought to ask him...Thanx
I'm by no means a Dentist and I'll apologise if I'm wrong however I'm under the impression the saltwater rinses are to help clean the socket and aid healing.

[SIZE=+1]I think it might help with wound healing because it kills bacteria (found this on the web):[/SIZE]

Posted By: Samuel Conway, Senior Staff Chemist, Avid Therapeutics,Philadelphia, PA
Date: Wed May 28 19:43:25 1997): Gargling with salt water helps to kill bacteria and prevent infection.
The salt water sets up a hypertonic environment; water rushes out of the
bacterium by osmosis, killing the bacterium. So it is not a question
of pressure exerted on red blood cell walls, but rather the pressure
exerted on the bacterial cell wall.

What else is salt water good for? Sterile saline (salt water) is used
widely in medicine to flush wounds, and a dilute solution is used to
treat contact lenses by matching the ionic strength of the fluids of the
eye. Putting pure water in the eye along with a contact lens can be
very uncomfortable!"

In other words, bacteria are little cells full of water, and salt will cause the water to be
"sucked out" of the bacteria (and presumably kill them). Though apparently there are
different types of bacteria and some of them like salt water. Maybe one of our dentists can shed some light on the matter :)
Not much to add, you've pretty much nailed it with your answer.
many thanx for the info!
Yes, it helps with the healing process.