What are the Benefits of Salt Water Gargling?

What are the Benefits of Salt Water Gargling

Gargling salt water, a popular home remedy relieves and prevent oral and throat infections. It reduces the symptoms of respiratory issues, alleviating bad breath. It diminishes post-oral surgical symptoms — swelling and pain.


  • Gargling with salt water relieves sore throat and seasonal allergies.
  • Saltwater gargling expels throat mucus and improves bad breath.
  • Post-surgical gargling with saltwater diminishes inflammation and pain.
  • Saltwater promotes sinus and respiratory health.

How does gargling salt water benefit human health?

Gargling salt water promotes oral health by relieving the symptoms of several oral problems, some of which include:

1. Relieves sore throat

Research suggests salt water gargling is an effective home remedy to relieve sore throat. Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat by reducing inflammation and irritation. Saltwater kills the bacteria and extracts the fluid out of the swollen tonsils, which helps swollen tonsils to get back to their normal position.

2. Reduces bad breath

Gargling salt water can help kill bacteria in the mouth and remove mucus from the back of the throat, which reduces bad breath. Poor oral hygiene and diet, smoking, alcohol intake, tooth decay, or periodontal disease – all contribute to bad breath. Many of these causes can be prevented and treated at home effectively with gargling salt water. However, if bad breath symptoms persist even after gargling salt water, consult the general physician online.

3. Eases mouth sores

Gargle salt water to reduce pain and inflammation associated with mouth sores, such as canker sores. It also reduces the symptoms and pain due to mouth sores caused by teeth biting. It alleviates pain due to mouth sores, and aids in eating or drinking. 

4. Reduces swelling

Gargling with salt water can reduce throat and nasal inflammation caused by a cold or flu. Research studies also claim that this water also works for post-surgical gum inflammation. If you experience gum swelling when you wake up, try gargling salt water in the morning before breakfast to cure these oral issues.

5. Prevents infections

Gargling with salt water increases the pH levels of the mouth, and develops a more alkaline oral environment, where bacteria can no longer thrive. Thus, gargling salt water can help prevent oral infection. It also reduces mouth and throat infections such as strep throat.

6. Improves oral hygiene

Saltwater helps remove food particles from gums, reducing tooth decay symptoms. It also promotes oral hygiene by clearing out harmful bacteria from your mouth. Consult a dentist if you still experience tooth decay and poor oral health.

7. Promotes post-surgical recovery

Gargling with salt water can be particularly helpful for individuals recovering from oral surgery, as it can help reduce swelling, alleviate pain, and prevent infection.

8. Improves sinus and respiratory health

Gargling with salt water can help reduce inflammation and mucus build-ups in the respiratory tract, improving breathing and reducing respiratory infection symptoms. It also drains the sinuses and promotes sinus health.

9. Reduces allergy symptoms

Gargling with salt water helps reduce seasonal allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, itchy throat, and swollen nasal cavity, by removing allergens and irritants from the nasal and oral cavities. Due to allergies, salt water also provides anti-inflammatory effects to the swollen lymph glands.

10. Soothes acid reflux

Gargling with salt water can help neutralize the acid in the throat and ease symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn. If you often experience acid reflux, gargle saltwater on an empty stomach to alleviate these symptoms.

11. Maintain post-dental oral hygiene

The anti-inflammatory properties of saltwater reduce swelling and inflammation in the mouth after dental procedures, such as extractions or gum surgery. Saltwater has antimicrobial properties which kill bacteria in the mouth and can be particularly beneficial after dental procedures, as the mouth may be more susceptible to infection during the healing process. Salt water also heals oral tissues, including gums and mucous membranes.

However, like any home remedy, use salt water gargling in moderation, and if your oral health doesn’t improve with it, seek medical advice at your earliest possible.

How do you make salt water for gargling?

Salt water gargling is an easy and affordable technique to deal with sore throat symptoms. It can be done within a few minutes, as you just have to add half a tablespoon of salt to the water. Use a kettle or microwave to heat this water at the temperature as needed. The salt will dissolve as the water temperature rises. Now gargle with this saltwater twice or thrice daily by repeating the process.

How to gargle with salt water?

Once your saltwater is ready, follow these simple steps:

  • Take a mouthful of the salt water, swishing it all around the mouth.
  • Now move your chin up and take salt water at the back of the throat and gargle.
  • Gargle for around 20 seconds or as you desire. 
  • Spit out the solution and repeat the process multiple times a day or as needed.

Which is the best time to gargle with salt water?

The doctors often advise gargling salt water on an empty stomach in the morning as it does not stress the food pipe, leading to nausea and vomiting. Also, on an empty stomach, the excess fluid is easily drawn out of the mouth, alleviating the symptoms of a sore throat.

You can also gargle salt water before going to bed, as gargling washes away food residue or bacteria which aids in maintaining oral health.


Salt water gargling has several benefits that can help to relieve pain and promote oral hygiene. Saltwater creates an osmosis effect, drawing fluids from the mouth, and relieving pain and discomfort. The salt concentration in the water also helps to relieve painful infections by killing bacteria and promoting healing. In case of any emergency, first aid is necessary before calling a doctor.

Gargling with salt water helps break mucus and irritants from the throat, reducing the risk of infection and improving oral health. With the saltwater gargling technique, good oral hygiene can also be maintained after dental procedures.


1. How long should you gargle with salt water?

The recommended time for gargling with salt water varies depending on the oral health conditions. However, gargle salt water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and then spit out the liquid. If you are using a saltwater gargle to relieve a sore throat or post-dental procedure discomfort, gargle for at least 30 seconds up to 3 minutes to maximize the benefits.

2. Is swallowing water during gargling salt water ok?

Saltwater should not be swallowed, as it may upset the stomach or cause dehydration. High levels of salt may also lead to a sudden increase in blood pressure, leading to dizziness, headache, and blurred vision.

3. Does gargling with salt water alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat?

Gargling salt water soothes the inflamed tissues in the throat and reduces throat discomfort. It has antiseptic properties, which kill bacteria and other germs causing sore throat and alleviate throat pain.

4. How long should you gargle salt water for removing mucus from the throat?

Gargle salt water to expel mucus from the throat. The recommended time for gargling for this purpose is typically around 30 seconds to 3 minutes. However, you may benefit from gargling for a longer period, up to 6 minutes. Repeat gargling twice or thrice daily.

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