Salt is well-known as an antiseptic and antibacterial substance. That is why it is useful in the treatment of tooth decay and cavities. It cleans the mouth and fights bacterial infections. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling and alleviate pain symptoms. Salt neutralizes the pH levels in the mouth which become acidic when there is a rise in bacterial activity such as when there is a cavity. Salt additionally removes food particles between the teeth which can cause tooth decay and ultimately lead to cavities.
Salt is commonly administered for the treatment of tooth decay and cavities in one of two ways.
a. Make a mixture of salt or Epsom’s Salt and warm water (1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of water). Swish the salt water around the mouth, especially around the affected area. The salt water should be in the mouth for around 2 minutes. A treatment such as this can be used 2-3 times daily to provide relief for symptoms. As a variation, 2 tablespoons can be added to the mixture as well if the amount of water is reduced.
b. Combine a ½ a teaspoon of salt with mustard oil and lemon juice to create a paste. Rub the paste carefully into the gum for a couple of minutes. Thereafter, gargle with warm water and make sure the mouth is thoroughly rinsed. Administer this treatment twice a day.
Salt is a very cost-effective home remedy and easily accessible. Because it can be so healing, some dentists recommend gargling with salt water 3-4 times as a way of maintaining good oral hygiene. As with most things, moderation is very important. If too much salt is used or salt water is gargled too frequently it can negatively affect the enamel layer of the tooth.
As an alternative to salt, use Aloe Vera juice as a gargle after brushing the teeth. Aloe Vera is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties which can combat tooth decay. Be sure to rinse the mouth well afterward. Baking soda is also an alternative to salt for balancing the pH levels in the mouth to raise the alkalinity and decrease the acidity introduced by the bacteria which has caused the tooth decay or cavity.