Baking Soda: The Role of This Common Household Ingredient in Gum-Disease Treatment

You may have seen several dental hygiene products with baking soda on the label. You may have even heard a thing or two about this common household product being used for oral hygiene. However, what you may not know is how baking soda effectively treats gum disease and how it got into your toothpaste and mouthwash to begin with. 

Baking Soda Was the First Toothpaste

It may surprise you to learn that before modern toothpaste was invented, anyone who wanted to keep their teeth pearly white would brush with a paste made from baking soda and water. Because of baking soda's overly salty and unpleasant taste, most people avoided brushing at all, at least until someone figured out how to add peppermint oil or crushed peppermint leaves to the paste. After fluoride became an important discovery to dental health, baking soda took a back seat for many years until its benefits for oral health became popular again.

Baking Soda Is a Preservative

Bakers and cooks have used baking soda for years as an all-natural preservative in the foods they make. In oral hygiene, baking soda preserves the gum tissue and prevents it from softening or weakening, thereby blocking bacteria from getting under the gum line. Baking soda may also dissolve or remove some bacteria, which in turn prevents or slows gum disease.

Baking Soda Is an Antacid

Baking soda is also an antacid. For decades it was used by pharmacies as a means to kill heartburn and acid reflux. Read the label on any antacid bottle or roll of chewable tablets, and you are likely to see "sodium bicarbonate," another name for baking soda, as the leading ingredient. As an antacid, it kills the sugary acids left behind by foods, both good and bad. No acids means no tartar buildup or tooth decay, and this also means that your gums stay healthy along with your teeth.

Baking Soda Can Scrub Away Stuck Foods

Cooks use baking soda to scrub pots and pans too. Why? Because it scrubs away stuck-on foods with ease. When you use baking soda on your teeth and gums, the slight abrasiveness you feel helps remove particles of food from your teeth that are stuck and will not come out. When the food particles are left in your gums, they begin to rot and smell and cause inflammation, but if you use baking soda in your oral hygiene routine, the particles come out, and nothing is left to rot or irritate your gums.

To see a dentist to discuss baking soda's use in dentistry more. Visit sites like to find a dentist near you.