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Doctor insights on: Rinsing With Salt Water Every Day

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Dr. Rex Mahnensmith
2,066 Doctors shared insights

Sodium (Definition)

It's an element that is important in the cell functions ...Read more


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Hi I had surgery on my big toe nail and I think that's its infected. I have to bathe it every other day in salt water and change the dressing every other day. What should I do?

Hi I had surgery on my big toe nail and I think that's its infected. I have to bathe it every other day in salt water and change the dressing every other day. What should I do?

Contact surgeon: Please contact the doctor who performed the surgery as s/he knows more about your health.
For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Drink enough water daily, so that your urine is mostly colorless. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form.
Practice safe sex, if you have sex.
Get HPV vaccine ...Read more

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Do tonsilloliths always pop out, or do some just slowly shrink? I've been gargling with salt water and every morning they look a little smaller.

Do tonsilloliths always pop out, or do some just slowly shrink? I've been gargling with salt water and every morning they look a little smaller.

Mine pop out...: Usually after they get to a certain size of with a big sneeze. I haven't had then for a while, but mine never "shrunk." If it works for you, keep going with it. ...Read more

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Every once in awhile my the top right side of my throat will itch it helps when I gargle with salt water any ideas?

Every once in awhile my the top right side of my throat will itch it helps when I gargle with salt water any ideas?

Routine Oral Exam: The mouth comes into contact with so many foreign items, contaminants, irritants, allergans, bacteria etc. It is not uncommon for it to get irritated or for you to have occaissional swelling of lymph nodes. You want to make sure that it is not a strep throat or a malignant lesion. If you ever have a fever or a cough get an exam and when you go to the dentist get an exam. ...Read more

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I hace a 8 week old baby girl that has soundedd congested since she was born. She's not sick (or that I'm aware of) peditrician advised me to use salt water for, humidity" reasons. I found it strange, but tried it. She seemed ro choke every time I put the

I hace a 8 week old baby girl that has soundedd congested since she was born. She's not sick (or that I'm aware of) peditrician advised me to use salt water for, humidity" reasons. I found it strange, but tried it. She seemed ro choke every time I put the

Common response: Newborns depend on small nasal passages for breathing. To mouth breathe they must tilt their head back (uncomfortable) until their neck grows longer, about 6m.Nasal wash out to thin the mucous & remove irritants is the standard treatment for congestion. Effective nasal wash out will often trigger babies protective gag reflex or sneezing & that movement of the saline to & fro helps wash out irritants. ...Read more

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7 day old lower teeth extraction. I have food stuck in the sockets what can I do to get it out? I am rinsing with salt water but it's still stuck.

7 day old lower teeth extraction. I have food stuck in the sockets what can I do to get it out? I am rinsing with salt water but it's still stuck.

5cc syringe: Use the syringe with the warm salt water solution. Keep gently rinsing the socket until all of the food particles have been washed away. You need to use this technique after meals and bedtime (4-6 times per day). Good luck. ...Read more

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Stinging pain in jaw/gum area where lower left wisdm tooth extracted aftr rinsing with warm salt water on Day 6 post-op. Can it be dry socket?

Stinging pain in jaw/gum area where lower left wisdm tooth extracted aftr rinsing with warm salt water on Day 6 post-op. Can it be dry socket?

Possibly: Dry sockets involve the presence of some pathogen in either the bone or soft tissue after an extraction. Not normal for stinging pain in ext. Site. Check back with oral surgeon. ...Read more

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Why is rinsing with salt water good?

Why is rinsing with salt water good?

Good cleanser: Rinsing with salt water is a good cleanser. It is soothing and gentle to oral tissues. ...Read more

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Tried rinsing with salt water but it won't work. How am I suppose to get rid of the cold sores?

Tried rinsing with salt water but it won't work. How am I suppose to get rid of the cold sores?

Some options: Melissa officinalis or lemon balm (cream) has been shown in european studies to help expedite healing of cold sores. It can reduce healing time by half. Studies also show that regular use can help v recurrences. Brief supplementation with lysine 1, 000mg orally three times a day at the onset, can also hasten healing. ...Read more

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I had a molar extracted a week ago I've been rinsing with salt water when can I start using Listerine?

I had a molar extracted a week ago I've been rinsing with salt water when can I start using Listerine?

Dilute the Mouthwash: You should be able to start using mouthwash at this point in time. However, I would suggest diluting it and using 1/2 warm water and 1/2 mouthwash. ...Read more

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Can rinsing with salt water too much cause a tooth abscess?

Can rinsing with salt water too much cause a tooth abscess?

No: Warm salt water has a cleaning and healing effect on the gums. It will not cause a tooth abscess. ...Read more

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What to do if I have gum disease (puffy and red gums), can rinsing with salt water helps my puffy and red gums, can it also make the gums hard/tighten?

What to do if I have gum disease (puffy and red gums), can rinsing with salt water helps my puffy and red gums, can it also make the gums hard/tighten?

Puffy gums: Sign that gums are infected. Salt water will not cure an infection. Please see a dentist now, before the problem worsens. Puffy gums are often seen hand-in-hand with bone loss. If treated early enough inflammation can be reversed. If treatment delayed, the result will be permanent damage. The services of a gum specialist, a periodontist, may be in order. ...Read more

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Is it common to have pain when rinsing with salt water after wisdom teeth extraction?

Is it common to have pain when rinsing with salt water after wisdom teeth extraction?

That depends: Severe pain...No, some discomfort for the first 1-2 days. ..Yes. If you are having severe pain or it lasts beyond a few days you need to return to the ral surgeon who extracted your teeth. You may have a dry socket. ...Read more

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Xray showed one of my teeth has infection. Might rinsing with salt water solution draw out this infection?

Xray showed one of my teeth has infection. Might rinsing with salt water solution draw out this infection?

Dental Infections: Dental infections require specific treatment by a qualified dentist. The cause of the infection needs to be determined and the proper treatment rendered. Antibiotics are also required to prevent spread of infection. Unfortunately nothing you do yourself at home will have any significant effect or reducing or eliminating the infection. Left untreated these infections get worse. See a dentist now. ...Read more

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Will rinsing with salt water prevent me from getting a dry socket after wisdom teeth removal?

Will rinsing with salt water prevent me from getting a dry socket after wisdom teeth removal?

Dry socket: Dry socket is when the clot that forms in the socket after a few days, comes out. You want to keep the area clean and be gentle. Warm salt water rinses are a great cleanser and healer. To prevent loss of the clot use no suction, heavy spitting or heavy brushing for a week or so. No hot liquids for the first 24 hours and keep the area clear of small granular foods. No aspirin. ...Read more

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15 days today since 2nd molar extraction. Rinsing with salt water and the blood clot washed away, very red and sensitive socket, is this dry socket now?

15 days today since 2nd molar extraction. Rinsing with salt water and the blood clot washed away, very red and sensitive socket, is this dry socket now?

Very unlikely as: Dry sockets generally develop within the first few days and elicit severe pain. However, you might have delayed healing for any number of reasons, and this should be evaluated by the dentist who extracted the tooth. It's part of routine aftercare and there is almost always at no charge for this service. ...Read more

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Rice size tear in palatoglossal arch close to my uvula. Little blood, sore, been rinsing with salt water, will it the tissues ever reconnect, sharp tool?

Rice size tear in palatoglossal arch close to my uvula. Little blood, sore, been rinsing with salt water, will it the tissues ever reconnect, sharp tool?

Tear: That tear should heal with time and warm water mouth rinses. The mouth and throat are rich with circulation and complete healing should occur. If you have any further concerns, consult an Otolaryngologist. ...Read more

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I bit my lip fairly hard on friday and have a huge canker sore in front of my lower teeth. I have been rinsing with salt water and baking soda. But it is still very painful! What would you suggest?

Numbing: Pick up a tie of Orabase-B at your drug store. Dab small amount onto lesion with q-tip. Should be a little better every day. If not, see your Dentist to check for infection. ...Read more

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Does rinsing our mouth with salt water, whiten teeth?

Does rinsing our mouth with salt water, whiten teeth?

Best way: Best way to whiten teeth is whitening gel in custom made trays. Toothpastes, mouthwashes, strips, are at best modestly successful. Home made remedies do not produce measurable change. Don't waste time/money, talk to your Dentist. ...Read more

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In what order should I perform: brushing of teeth, rinsing/gargling with salt water, and use of listerine?

In what order should I perform: brushing of teeth, rinsing/gargling with salt water, and use of listerine?

Order: Floss first brush seconed rinse last. You do not need to rinse with salt water and over the counter mouth wash both. One or the other is enough. I personally prefer warm salt water. ...Read more

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When can I stop rinsing my mouth with salt water after a tooth extraction?

When can I stop rinsing my mouth with salt water after a tooth extraction?

About 5-7 days: You shouldn't start until the second day, so the clots have formed. Otherwise you might rinse them out and may get a dry socket. After 24 - 36 hours you can rinse 3 - 5 times a day -gently- for the next 5 - 7 days. ...Read more

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After a tooth extraction, how long do I have to wait before I can stop rinsing my mouth with salt water?

After a tooth extraction, how long do I have to wait before I can stop rinsing my mouth with salt water?

Check with your dent: Check with your dentist. He or she knows your situation best. A simple phone call should give you the answer. ...Read more

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Red taste buds at the tip of my tounge, just noticed them after rinsing my mouth with salt water and mouth wash for a couple days. What is this?

Red taste buds at the tip of my tounge, just noticed them after rinsing my mouth with salt water and mouth wash for a couple days. What is this?

Could be normal: It is not uncommon to have small asymptomatic red bumps on the tongue tip. If there is no pain or taste disturbance then just observe. ...Read more

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I got 4 wisdom teeth removed on tues. And I have been rinsing my mouth with salt water but everytime I do their is a little blood is that normal?

I got 4 wisdom teeth removed on tues. And I have been rinsing my mouth with salt water but everytime I do their is a little blood is that normal?

Time Frame: As we do not have a time reference for how much time has elapsed since your surgery and in providing an answer, it is not uncommon for patients to have some small traces of blood mixed in the saliva a week after surgery. If adequate oral hygiene was not maintained over the surgical sites, traces of blood may be present even longer. ...Read more

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Does using purified sea salt water, several times a day, benefit healing wounds? This specifically concerns new piercings.

Does using purified sea salt water, several times a day, benefit healing wounds? This specifically concerns new piercings.

Sea water: No matter how long I have been in wound care, there always seems to be an endless stream of new products and recommendations. I think that attention to the conditions under which the piercings are done (sterility of tools, for example) requires more due diligence than dealing with problems afterwards. We use sterile Normal Saline all of the time to wash wounds so if it is sterile, I see no issue. ...Read more

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How quickly does Florinef (fludrocortisone) work? Is it possible to feel better the next day after Florinef (fludrocortisone), Gatorade, and added salt, water?

How quickly does Florinef (fludrocortisone) work? Is it possible to feel better the next day after Florinef (fludrocortisone), Gatorade, and added salt, water?

Usually the effects: Of Florinef (fludrocortisone) take several weeks. The Gatorade, added salt and water could work much more quickly including less than 24 hours. This is probably why you feel better so quickly. The Florinef (fludrocortisone) will be long term management. Maintaining good hydration and increased salt intake will contribute to a more rapid improvement. ...Read more

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How many times a day should I rinse with salt water if I just had 20 teeth pulled?

How many times a day should I rinse with salt water if I just had 20 teeth pulled?

None: You shouldn't rinse if you just had your teeth extracted. After a few days, however, after the blleding is controlled, you can gently rinse a few times per day if you need to. Consult with your dentist for further instructions. ...Read more

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Is it possible to over-use salt water nasal douche? Been using it for 2 years 2x per day to clear irritants + allergy meds. Worried about any damage.

Is it possible to over-use salt water nasal douche? Been using it for 2 years 2x per day to clear irritants + allergy meds. Worried about any damage.

Study points to yes: Saline irrigation can be beneficial when used for a short period of time. A study presented at the 2009 College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggested that chronic use of saline was counter productive. Although it removes pathogens when used from time to time, chronic use may remove the "good bacteria". Usually 1-3 weeks of use once a day is enough. If symptoms persist, see an ENT. ...Read more

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How do I know if my eyes are sunburned? My eyes are red and dry and hurting, but I spent the day swimming at the beach could it be the salt water?

How do I know if my eyes are sunburned? My eyes are red and dry and hurting, but I spent the day swimming at the beach could it be the salt water?

Eyes: Yes it could be salt water (stay out of it for now) but you should also see an eye specialist. Have your primary doctor refer you. ...Read more

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Woke up Both Calves cramping & cramped all day. Tried salt water, bananas, powerade drink with electrolytes. No relief yet. Help!! ?

Woke up Both Calves cramping & cramped all day. Tried salt water, bananas, powerade drink with electrolytes. No relief yet. Help!! ?

Stretching: Does this happen frequently? Try stretching your calves and or exercise/walk. You could also jiggle your legs a bit and elevate it. Or take a hot shower with the stream directed at your calves (for five minutes) or even a warm bath may help as well. I would be hesitant to recommend medication since there may be an underlying cause that should be targeted instead. See your Dr if it doesn't improve. ...Read more

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17 day old 2 lower wisdom teeth extraction. Food seems to be stuck in one socket. Cannot get out with salt water or syringe. What now?

17 day old 2 lower wisdom teeth extraction. Food seems to be stuck in one socket. Cannot get out with salt water or syringe. What now?

Wisdom tooth healing: It is important to remove food debris while you are healing to prevent infection. If you cannot do this and you are having pain or swelling contact your extracting dentist for advise. They know you and your case best and can help you. ...Read more

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Nose piercing with bumps on outside and inside. I do a salt water cleanse 2-3x a day. Also tea tree oil. Still inflamed and tender. What should I do?

Nose piercing with bumps on outside and inside. I do a salt water cleanse 2-3x a day. Also tea tree oil. Still inflamed and tender. What should I do?

Get eval: You may have an infectious process which would require antibiotics, ...so best to get the area evaluated to get properly diagnosed and treated. Good luck. ...Read more