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How Does Salt Affect Your Oral Health?

August 19, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — alldentalcenter @ 5:06 pm
Woman enjoying a bowl of potato chips

Virtually everyone knows that sugar is bad for teeth, but what about other popular flavor enhancers, such as salt? Whether you like to snack on French fries, potato chips, or other foods that are high in sodium, you might wonder if this common mineral could be impacting your smile. How does salt affect your oral health? This blog post provides helpful information.

How Salt Can Benefit Oral Health

Salt can be beneficial for your oral health in a few ways:

  • Salt can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Dentists often tell their patients to swish with warm salt water while they are recovering from a dental procedure or when they have a toothache. The solution can lower inflammation and reduce discomfort.
  • Your toothpaste may contain salt. Many types of toothpaste contain a bit of salt, which acts as a foaming agent. This helps the toothpaste to stay in your mouth and prevents unwanted dribbling.
  • Salt can fight bacteria. Salt can slightly alter the pH of your mouth, making it more challenging for harmful bacteria to grow and multiply.

How Salt Can Harm Your Oral Health

As beneficial as salt can be, it does have some downsides. If you consume it in excessive amounts, your smile could suffer in the following ways:

  • Salt contributes to dehydration. Overindulging in salty foods could cause your mouth to dry out, thereby creating an environment where harmful bacteria can thrive.
  • Salt may worsen calcium excretion. A high-sodium diet is linked to faster rates of calcium excretion. It might even cause your teeth to lose some of their calcium and weaken over time.
  • Salt often accompanies simple carbohydrates. Salty foods are usually not high in sugar, but they are frequently packed with simple carbohydrates. Chips, crackers, and bread can break down in the mouth and contribute to tooth decay to almost the same extent as sugary foods.

How Much Salt Is Okay?

Sodium is an essential micronutrient, so you should make sure that your daily diet contains a least a little bit of it. However, you should be cautious not to overdo it. The American Heart Association says that adults should not consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. That is about one teaspoon of salt. Be sure to check nutrition labels so you can get a rough idea of how much you are consuming.

Salt has the potential to be both good and bad for your smile. Use it in appropriate amounts so you can maintain your oral health!

Meet the Practice

The experts at All Dental in Watertown provide a broad range of treatments for residents of our community. If you have questions about how to care for your oral health, or it is time for your next cleaning and checkup, we would be happy to serve you. Get in touch with our office at 617-924-9993.

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