Who doesn’t like the slight burning sensation of mouthwash?
You may even feel as though the germs and bacteria are being totally destroyed by the mouthwash, but how can you be sure it’s doing exactly that?
Oral rinses certainly have a reputation for killing bad breath, and giving your mouth that extra clean feeling that may not be attained with just brushing your teeth.
Obviously, like everything else, mouthwash comes with some pros and cons.
Every mouthwash claims to do something different, so it is important to carefully examine the description on the bottle to make sure you know what you’re getting your mouth into.
When we look deeper into exact effects of mouthwash, we find that a clear definitive answer of whether or not it is good for your mouth is non-existent.
For the Pros-
Mouthwash cuts down on cavities first and foremost.
“It is absolutely true that rinsing with a fluoride rinse can help reduce cavities,” says Nicholas Toscano, DDS, a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Implant and Advanced Clinical Dentistry. “There are countless studies on the benefits of fluoride in reducing demineralization and cavitations of the teeth.”
Fights gum disease.
Periodontal disease causes gums and tooth sockets to get inflamed or infected due to plaque from bacteria and food that remains on teeth. A simple mouthwash, like those containing alcohol or chlorhexidine, can help prevent periodontal diseases.
Soothes canker sores.
Mouthwash can ease a canker sore by detoxing the area — reducing the amount of bacteria that can irritate the site,” says Dr. Toscano. Although in many cases, a saltwater rinse would do fine.
Believe it or not, mouthwash can help safeguard your pregnancy.
Periodontal disease is also a risk for giving birth preterm, low-weight babies—the bacteria caused by a gum infection can get into a pregnant woman’s bloodstream and escalate inflammatory markers, which in turn can stimulate contractions.
Some of the Con’s include-
Ability to irritate canker sores.
In some cases, if the alcohol content of your mouth rinse is too high, it can actually irritate the canker sore instead of helping it.
Masks bad breath-
“Mouthwash can lead to fresher breath, but it may be short-lived,” says Toscano. “If a patient has poor oral hygiene and doesn’t brush effectively, there is no amount of mouthwash that can mask the effects of poor health. Just using mouthwash would be equivalent to not bathing and using cologne to mask the smell.”
Links to oral cancer-
Of course no con’s list would be complete without that ever-existent potential risk of cancer. It is has been debated back and forth whether alcohol-containing mouthwashes are linked to oral cancer. Since the 1970’s this question has been asked without any definitive answers.
Although Toscano reminds us, “using a rinse is very different than drinking alcohol, and usually there is a synergistic effect with smoking. The ADA only puts its seal of approval on proven research and would not put people in harm’s way by having them use a product that would have such negative side effects.”
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with our dentists, Dr. Evelina Tolchinsky DDS or Dr. Inna Trogan DDS, then please call our office today! (718) 246-5677
Our dentists have served the residents of Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Dumbo, and all of our other surrounding New York communities for years.
You can find our office in the heart of beautiful Brooklyn Heights at 100 Pineapple Walk, Brooklyn, NY 11201