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Mouthwashes and periodontal disease – the facts.

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Home  /  Periodontal - Dental News  /  Mouthwashes and periodontal disease – the facts.

You’ll find no shortage of mouthwashes available on the supermarket shelf – but are they worth the money? Here’s our take on it.

You’re probably sick by now of our constant reminders to take care of the ‘Big Two’ when it comes to dental care. These are, of course, regular brushing plus use of either dental floss or interdental brushes.

Simply nothing will do as much good for your oral health as these two staples, so bear this in mind when considering add-ons such as dental scrapers or mouthwashes.

So with that point cleared up, is there any major benefit to be had from using a mouthwash regularly? Also, is there a major difference between one product and another – or are they simply all the same?

Be wary of the hype

If you believed everything you saw on television ads., you might be inclined to think tat a single mouthwash can not only deal a lethal blow to plaque, but also keep your breath smelling of roses for hours on end.

You need to take these claims with a pinch of salt, but that’s not to say that you can’t achieve some genuine benefits from mouthwash. You should read the bottle fairly carefully before you buy, and make sure that you choose an alcohol-free version. Why – because alcohol is believed to be a risk factor in the area of oral cancer.

Also, when you see claims about the power of Brand X in the battle against plaque, be aware that no mouthwash will actually remove plaque that’s already built up – although it can certainly play a part in preventing the formation of new plaque.

What else should you look for in a mouthwash?

  • Some people simply use a mouthwash to freshen or sweeten their breath, If this is the case, then simply buy one that you think smells nice – it’s as simple as that!
  • While our water supply in Ireland is fluoridated, some people are in need of extra fluoride. If your dentist has mentioned that you’re among these people, then a high fluoride mouth rinse obviously makes sense.
  • If you’re suffering from gum disease, then you might be wise to opt for chlorhexidine – savacol or corsydyl. They’re not particularly pleasant to taste, but persevere for as long as the gum disease persists.
  • If you want fresh breath confidence, added fluoride plus help with gum disease, you can get all three in one. In the UK, for example, both Colgate Plax and Listerine mouthwashes have been accredited by the British Dental Association – this is something that might influence you when you’re standing in the supermarket aisle and deciding which to plump for.

It doesn’t matter which brand you choose, however, if you don’t use it regularly. Just like brushing and flossing, regularity is the key to success. And at the risk of boring you, let us repeat that mouthwash is never a replacement for brushing or flossing.

But if you’re already committed to your oral care regime and want to give yourself an extra edge, then certainly there’s merit in the regular use of the right mouthwash.

It gives an extra level of protection against possible gum disease – also known as periodontal disease. This is a major ‘result’ – not just in terms of your dental health, but also in terms of your general health, as the two can often be inter-linked.

If you do have to see a periodontist, however, remember that we have some very talented and friendly professionals right here at MyDental!