Do you absorb sodium through your gums, mouth and throat when gargling and rinsing salt water? Considering the fact that sublingual medication is a very effective way for introducing substances straight into your bloodstream very quickly. 

Below's a link to a study on Pubmed about this issue, but I don't have access. Does anyone here have access?  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/3474267/

  • I gargle with salt water several time every day and a recent blood test showed nothing out-side the normal ranges. Nov 1, 2019 at 15:14
  • @blacksmith37 did you take the blood test after gargling?
    – larry909
    Nov 1, 2019 at 19:28
  • Increasing salt intake doesn't generally raise sodium levels because salt causes increased water retention, which dilutes the sodium and keeps the serum levels unchanged. The best way to raise serum sodium levels is by reducing water intake, not by raising salt intake.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 1, 2019 at 20:43
  • 1
    @CareyGregory my mistake. I meant: Would gargling salt water every day increase sodium intake levels? (question edited now).
    – larry909
    Nov 1, 2019 at 20:46
  • Better question now.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 1, 2019 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


Yes, there is increase in sodium absorption levels after rinsing mouth with salt water. This absorption is through oral mucosal lining. Increase in sodium is very little as compared to the daily requirement of sodium.

In the clinical study (link mentioned in question), 5% saline solution (which contains 855 mEq of sodium) was used. Sodium absorbed by various participants was between 2 to 11 mEq, and the minimum requirement of daily sodium dosage is 44 mEq. So, this will pose little risk on metabolic process. And it is possible that on increasing saline concentration of mouth rinse, sodium absorption may also increase. So, 5% Saline solution is recommended for mouth rinsing.

Via: Image of the research article mentioned in question (unable to upload PDF) enter image description here Earlier in 1950's various researchers have reported the use of sodium salts of various drugs for sublingual absorption.


  • " Increase in sodium is very little as compared to the daily requirement of sodium." I have some concern around this statement. In this study participants only rinsed with 25ml of the solution - if you were to do 125ml as is the usual instructions it seems (half cup + one ts of salt) - you're possibly looking at significantly more sodium absorbed. Jul 27, 2021 at 22:00
  • Yes, it may be possible. But why would you rinse with 125ml? Jul 28, 2021 at 1:06
  • @Chris Stryczynski Normal mouth rinsing requires 20 to 30 ml of water Jul 28, 2021 at 1:08

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