Which mouth wash to choose?


Your dentist may advise  certain types of oral rinses if you are at high risk of tooth decay, gum inflammation, dry mouth or gum disease or following oral surgery or  scaling or root planing in order to promote healing. Additionally, many therapeutic oral rinses are strongly recommended for people who cannot brush due to physical impairments or medical conditions. 

Cosmetic mouth washes are commercial over the counter ones may temporarily reduce bad breath (halitosis), rinse away oral debris, diminish bacteria in your mouth and leave it with a pleasant, refreshing taste. Some cosmetic oral rinses are available without alcohol, but many contain high concentrations of alcohol ranging from 18 to 26 percent.the high present age of alcohol may cause sore mouth if held in the mouth more than a few seconds . Cosmetic oral rinses mask rather than eliminate bad breath. Their odour-masking effects typically last no more than three hours. If you have persistent bad breath, contact your dentist or doctor, as this may be a sign of an oral infection or a medical condition such as diabetes or a respiratory tract infection.

Cosmetic mouthwashes that contain some of the active ingredients found in rinses designed to treat oral health conditions (i.e fluoride to help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities) also double as therapeutic rinses. Therapeutic mouth washes contain added active ingredients to help prevent or treat various oral health conditions and diseases. Therapeutic mouth washes usually fall into one of the following categories:

  1.  Anti-plaque/anti-gingivitis: This type of therapeutic rinse has anti-bacterial properties and reduce gum bleed a form of gum (periodontal) disease. Many of these rinses contain chlorhexidine gluconate, the most effective plaque-fighting drug yet tested, and are available by prescription only(like Peroxyl mouth wash prescribed for an acute periodontal disease called ANUG). These solutions usually include alcohol, although they may be available without alcohol. They are recommended for short-term use .
  2. Anti-cavity: This type of therapeutic oral rinse or mouthwash contains fluoride, which helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Anti-cavity rinses are available OTC .The prescribed ones contain higher-concentration of fluoride. If you are at high risk of tooth decay or wear an orthodontic appliance (such as dental braces), your dentist may recommend that you regularly use an anti-cavity rinse in addition to your daily oral hygiene regimen.
  3.  Anti-tartar: Containing agents such as zinc citrate, these therapeutic oral rinses reduce the buildup of tartar.
  4. Other types of therapeutic oral rinses may provide relief from oral pain. In addition, topical antibiotic rinses and artificial saliva rinses are also available by prescription.

How effective are Oral Rinses? Dental experts differ on the effectiveness of oral rinses for improving oral health. Most OTC anti-plaque rinses are not much more effective against plaque and gum disease than simply rinsing with water. Cosmetic oral rinses merely mask – not eliminate – bad breath for a few hours. Many dental experts consider the use of fluoride toothpastes as sufficient anti-cavity protection for most individuals.having said that, many dentists and hygienists recommend that their patients use an oral rinse as part of their regular oral health regimen. Just remember that an oral rinse is intended to be a supplement to, not a replacement for, daily tooth brushing and flossing.

How to Rinse Properly

The order in which you brush, floss and rinse does not make a big difference. Most people, though, prefer to brush and floss teeth before using an oral rinse. Teeth should be as clean as possible before applying an anti-cavity oral rinse in order to get the full preventative benefits. Check the oral rinse's label for recommendations on how and when to use the product. Avoid rinsing, eating or smoking for 30 minutes after using an oral rinse, as this will lessen its effectiveness.

AHow safe are mouth washes?

Mouth washes, if used as instructed , are safe, but they may cause certain side effects. These are more likely to occur with prescription-strength rinses, but they may also occur with OTC products.

If you have a sensitive mouth, consider an alcohol-free or natural mouthwash. Natural mouthwashes often contain ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile for a soothing effect.

Serious side effects can require immediate emergency medical treatment.

Side effects include:

  • Staining of teeth and/or dental restorations (corsodyl can cause this)
  • Changes in taste sensation (using corsodyl for longer than 2 weeks can cause it.)
  • Tartar buildup on the teeth
  • Burning sensation in the cheeks, teeth and gums (listerine can cause these symptoms.)
  • Drying of mouth tissue Mouth and tongue irritation, numbness or soreness Mucosal erosions Sensitivity of tooth roots
  • Mouth ulcers

Most commercial oral rinses contain alcohol, which will be dangerous if swallowed in large quantities by children. Anti-cavity rinses with sodium fluoride can lead to fluoride toxicity when taken excessively or swallowed. Ask your child's dentist to recommend some oral rinses specifically formulated for children.

Symptoms of a mouth wash overdose are:

  • Breathing problems, such as deep breathing, rapid shallow breathing, slowed breathing or breathing stoppage
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting
  • Nervous system problems, such as  dizziness or drowsiness bluish skin, particularly lips and fingernails and in extreme cases collapse and convulsion.

If you experience any of the above symptoms,stop using the mouth wash and contact your dentist or GP immdeiately.

 Do mouth washes carry risk of mouth cancer?

In April 2014, The headline captured the media by storm that frequent use of mouth increases risk of mouth and throat cancers.But despite the claim, the link between oral cancer and mouthwash is less clear. The association was only significant when looking at very frequent use (three times a day). Very few people used mouthwash this frequently, which decreases the reliability of this risk estimate. There is certainly no credible evidence that mouthwash "can give you cancer".

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According to the ADA, oral rinses "containing more than 25 percent alcohol could increase the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer, but more clinical evidence is required to substantiate this claim. Regardless of cancer concerns, oral rinses containing alcohol should be avoided by people with voice problems, dry mouth, women who are pregnant.

If you want to discuss any of the issues raised above with our dentist, call us on 01923254979.

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