Normal Saline, Sodium Bicarbonate and Chlorhexidine rinses – Are they good for your teeth and gums?
Very likely! Do you remember your dentist asking you to rinse with salt water after your wisdom teeth extraction? The irrigation of dental extractions with normal saline can prevent “dry sockets” and relieve the symptoms associated. A dry socket is a complication that can occur after the extraction of a tooth/teeth. The acute inflammation of the bone around the extracted tooth creates severe pain and the breakdown of the clot within the socket. Food and bacteria may fill up this empty hole where your tooth used to be and can lead to infection. One study found that 36.8% of patients that ended up with a dry socket did not follow oral hygiene instructions, which included using a warm salt mouth bath to irrigate the extraction sites.
Salt, baking soda water or chlorhexidine rinses have also been recommended for increasing oral cleanliness and reducing the risk of infection in the mouth or other oral diseases. Normal saline and sodium bicarbonate are both bland rinses that have no known biological properties but Chlorhexidine actually has antimicrobial properties. Even though, research has not been able to directly prove the effects of these rinses against other significant problems, like oral mucositis, they are often still recommended. The Guidelines Panel of the Basic Oral Care Section for example recommend their use in patients undergoing cancer treatments as most patients found their improved oral hygiene and comfort with the use of these rinses. Chlorhexidine mouth rinse is usually recommended for periodic use only in the prevention of oral mucositis, gingivitis or plaque control as its long term use may cause side effects.
Oil-pulling with coconut oil can treat cavities?
Plausible! Coconut oil has been shown to have numerous positive effects in health promotion and disease prevention and its products have been well respected in Indian folk medicine for thousands of years. According to Ayurvedic medicine, documented in Sanskrit well back to 4000 years ago, the oil, milk, cream and water of the coconut have been used to treat hair loss, burns, heart problems as well as it being used as an electrolyte, antioxidant, antithrombotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and immunostimulant to name only a few benefits. The process of oil-pulling for the mouth involves rinsing and swishing approximately one tablespoon of the oil around in your mouth, pulling, pushing and sucking it around your mouth and through your teeth and then spitting it out. The microbes hiding in and amongst your teeth are “pulled out” and held within the solution. Some state it has helped whiten their teeth, prevent bad breath and reduce inflamed gums. While coconut oil rinse may help decrease the overall bacterial load in the mouth, it is difficult to say if this method actually prevents oral diseases. More research is needed to show if it is beneficial to oral health because good oral health does not mean a mouth without bacteria but a happy equilibrium between good and bad bacteria. Sunflower and sesame oil have also been used although coconut oil is the preferred oil due to the fact that it contains lauric acid, which is known to have strong antimicrobial action. Before this new concept has a more concrete link with science, it is still beneficial if the placebo effect helps increase everyone’s awareness to oral health.
Copyright 2014 The Children’s Oral Care Centre