Does gargling with salt water many times cause dryness and burning? – VnExpress

I often have tonsillitis so I have a habit of gargling with salt water 4-5 times a day; Recently, I have a dry, burning throat, is it due to salt water gargling? (Thien Kim, Vinh Long)


Salt water has an antiseptic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory effect, contributing to cleaning the mouth and throat. Physiological saline is usually very safe, can be used every day, for a long time. The habit of gargling with salt water is very good, but you need to do it properly. You should pay attention to the number and type of salt water to use.

You did not specify whether to use homemade saline or physiological saline sold at drugstores. Normally, if you make your own salt water, you use about 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of clean warm water (about 250 ml). However, home-made salt can be difficult to achieve the right concentration, not clean. If you mix too much salt, it can affect the pH, the bacterial system in the mouth, easily causing dryness and burning in the throat. In contrast, salt water mixed too lightly may not achieve antibacterial effect, cleaning the throat area.

If you do not mix saline but are using 0.9% sodium chloride physiological saline (ie, in 100 ml of solution, there are 0.9 grams of salt), you can be assured of the concentration. What you need to pay attention to is the number of times to gargle, so gargle 2-3 times per day, not 5 or more times per day. When you mix salt water too salty, plus gargling many times can make the throat dry, burning, and can even cause scratches and damage to the throat area. This can also negatively affect the tonsils, especially if you often have tonsillitis.

To gargle properly, suck about 5-10 ml (not too much) and try to bring the salt water as deep to the back of the throat as possible. You wheeze for about 30 seconds, then close your mouth, stir the salt water in your mouth a few times and then spit it out. Repeat this process a few times.

You can gargle with salt water 2-3 times per day. Image: Freepik

Finally, you should rinse with clean water to let the remaining plaque get out. Gargling with salt water should be done after brushing your teeth, avoid doing the opposite to prevent bacteria from sticking to unwashed teeth from easily entering the throat. After gargling, you should drink plenty of water to avoid dry throat. If done properly, gargling with physiological saline can help reduce bacteria and viruses that multiply in the oropharynx and go deeper to attack the respiratory tract; at the same time reduce pain, swelling sore throat. Keeping the mouth and throat clean can also reduce sore throat, inflammation, or recurrence of the tonsils.

In addition to maintaining oral hygiene, with regular tonsillitis, you should have regular health check-ups so that your doctor can monitor whether you need to intervene such as removing tonsils. In case the tonsils swell, recur several times a year, pus, etc., the doctor can prescribe appropriate intervention. If you have had your tonsils removed before but it still recurs, causing pain and swelling, you should see a doctor soon for examination and treatment.

Master.BS Pham Thai Duy
Department of Otolaryngology, Tam Anh General Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City


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