In this article, Dr. Hamid Ryan Kazemi discusses efficacy of oral rinsing with salt water following teeth extraction, wisdom teeth, or dental implant placement in addition to other oral surgery procedures
Salt water rinsing following oral surgery- Dr. Hamid Ryan Kazemi
Proper healing after oral surgery procedures such as teeth extractions, wisdom teeth, or
dental implants requires strict adherence to post-operative instructions. One key
instruction is to rinse with salt water for at least 10-14 days following oral surgery. Plaque
retention is a common cause of post operative infection and effective salt water rinsing
helps to minimize it.
Salt water has been widely used for
generations to clean various wounds.
It has antibacterial and preserving
properties when applied in
abundance to foods, however its
effectiveness in killing bacteria when
diluted in water is less clear. Salt
water changes the pH of the mouth,
which can inhibit microbes, but it may
not necessarily kill them.
The main purpose of salt is to make
the water more physiologic or “tissue friendly” for rinsing. It is beneﬁcial following any oral
surgery procedure including teeth extraction, wisdom teeth removal, or dental implants
placement. Add a tablespoon of salt to a gallon of water, shake, and use it for your rinsing
needs. The frequency of rinsing should be every 1-2 hours for at least 10-14 days,
starting on the day following oral surgery.
The chief beneﬁt from rinsing with salt water is its mechanical irrigation of plaque and food
debris away from the surgical site. For that matter, rinsing even with tap water is helpful.
So if you are at school or work and don’t have access to salt water, use plain tap water. It
is best to avoid rinsing with alcohol-based mouth rinses within the ﬁrst week after surgery
as the alcohol can irritate healing tissues.