7 Common Problems With Conventional Mouthwashes

Almost all of us have seen the advertisements which promote that just 30 seconds of rinsing the mouth with mouthwash is enough to make your teeth look whiter, gums healthier, and cure bad breath. But that’s not really what’s happening. Conventional mouthwash can actually make your dental and oral health problems worse.

Mouthwash and other bacteria-killing options designed to treat and prevent dental disease don’t actually work. They disrupt the most important immunity mechanism of your oral health- the oral microbiome. 

Common Problems With Conventional Mouthwashes

1. Destroy oral microbiome

Rinsing the mouth with mouthwash is similar to rinsing it with antibiotics. As the antibiotics totally destroy the balance of bacteria in your gut (which lead to poor immune function and a variety of other problems), mouthwash destroys oral microflora indiscriminately. You need these good bacteria to support your oral microbiome to decrease the risk of developing such common issues as bad breath, gingivitis, and cavities.

2. Dries your mouth

It’s important to have enough saliva in your mouth, as it maintains the process of remineralization, which prevents and reverses cavities naturally. Mouthwash decreases the natural production of saliva.

When using your mouthwash immediately after brushing your teeth, it could rinse out the fluoride and decrease the benefits of toothpaste use. Furthermore, the chemicals in your mouth rinse and the chemicals in your toothpaste could interact and cancel all the benefits of each other and even cause a reaction between these two products that creates a drying effect in the mouth. Some people may even experience painful sensations because of this reaction. 

It is extremely important to avoid using such mouthwashes after dental implant installation since the abrasive quality of mouthwash can be damaging to the implants.

3. Cause cavities

Contrary to popular belief, the property of mouthwash kills 99.9% does not really aid to prevent cavity formation in your teeth. Oral microbiome exists to maintain the natural remineralization of your teeth and if mouthwash kills all the bacteria in your mouth (both good and bad), it critically increases the tooth decay process.

4. Doesn’t eliminate bad breath

Don’t let the pleasant flavor of mouthwash to fool you. Conventional mouthwash tastes good, but they don’t really treat halitosis. The alcohol in mouthwash dries out the oral environment, dries out the saliva, and good bacteria that are necessary to manage the breath.

5. Contributes to mouth ulcer formation

Bad breath is not the worst consequence of a drying mouth. If the alcohol content in the mouth rinse is too high, it can provoke ulcers and canker sores in your mouth. This is because the neutralization of your toothpaste compounds and mouthwash compounds actually impacts your cheek’s protective layer.

6. Oral cancer risk

The suggested link between mouthwash and oral cancer is related to the alcohol content in traditional mouthwashes. It’s rather clear that alcohol is a risk factor for oral cancer. Many formulas for the most popular mouthwashes contain about 25 percent alcohol. Compare that to vodka which contains about 40 percent alcohol.

Swishing your mouth two times per day is almost the same as taking a shot every day but everyone’s risk level is different and it can be only calculated based on a patient’s health history and exam findings.

There is a continuous discussion of whether alcohol-based mouthwashes increase the risk of oral cancer. This is still being researched and the jury is still out on this.

7. Blood pressure

Mouthwash contains such an antiseptic compound as chlorhexidine. It can kill the bacteria in the mouth that produces nitric oxide. The studies show that using a mouthwash with chlorhexidine twice a day for a week and longer is associated with a noticeable increase in systolic blood pressure.

Amelia Grant

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.