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How Does Salt Affect Oral Health?

May 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmarchese @ 9:03 pm
salt lying on a table

As you’re probably aware, sugar can absolutely wreak havoc on your oral health. Sugars feed the bacteria in the mouth, which can contribute to both tooth decay and gum disease.

However, if you’ve been to the doctor recently, you may have had a discussion about salt intake. This could contribute to all kinds of cardiovascular conditions, but how does it affect your oral health? Here’s what you should know.

Is Salt Good or Bad for Oral Health?

Unlike sugar, salt has a complicated relationship with oral health. In some ways it can be a good thing, even medicinal. However, eating salty foods can cause serious problems for your oral health.

It’s worth noting that nothing about this piece should be taken as an endorsement of a high-sodium diet. Dentists are as concerned as anyone about your cardiovascular health, so if a medical professional has let you know that you should cut back on salt, you should follow their advice. That said…

How Can Salt Benefit Oral Health?

While salty foods aren’t necessarily the best for your health, salt itself has found its niche in dentistry. For one, saltwater has significant antibacterial effects, which has made it a popular home remedy for sores and mild toothaches.

Salt has also been demonstrated to raise the pH levels in the mouth, which can create an alkaline environment that makes it hard for bacteria to thrive. Finally, salt is often used in toothpaste as a foaming agent, which makes it easier to spit out without accidentally swallowing.

How Can Salt Harm Oral Health?

On the other hand, too much salt in your diet can cause problems. Salty foods, like chips, are composed largely of starches. These starches are broken down easily into simple sugars that feed the bacteria in the mouth.

Salt also has an effect on calcium, which is foundational to strong and healthy bones. Salt causes the body to excrete this calcium, which can weaken the teeth.

Finally, salt can dehydrate you, reducing the amount of saliva in the mouth. This saliva is ordinarily used to wash away foods and balance the pH of the mouth, so not having enough of it can increase your risk of gum disease.

About Our Practice

At Arbor Dental Care, we want to be able to offer you and your family everything you need to get the dental care that they deserve. We make use of the latest in dental technology to ensure that the care that we offer is as good as it can be, but we also do everything we can to connect with our patients as individuals. That means that you can get the comfort of a small office with all the technical expertise of a large one.

If you have any questions about dietary changes for your oral health, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (630) 969-2310.

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