We All Do It – But Is Mouthwash Really Good For You?

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Mouthwash: Why We Have to Do It


Dr. Randeep Bhullar, DDS, Owner Reach Dental in Lawrenceville, GA, insists that using mouth wash helps to cut down on cavities. “It is absolutely true that rinsing with a fluoride rinse can help reduce cavities,” says Dr. Bhullar, DDS. There are several studies on the benefits of fluoride in reducing demineralization and cavitations of the teeth.

Obviously, with periodontal disease (such as gingivitis), gums and tooth sockets can get inflamed or infected because of plaque from bacteria and food that lingers on teeth. In such cases, the use of alcohol based antibacterial mouthwash or chlorhexidine, may help prevent periodontal disease.

According to Dr. Randeep Bhullar, DDS, “mouthwash can generally ease canker sore by detoxing the area thereby reducing the amount of bacteria that can irritate that particular region of the tooth.” In cases where a person cannot afford a mouthwash, a simple saltwater rinse may suffice.

For pregnant women, periodontal disease is actually a risk factor for giving birth to preterm, low-weight babies. The reason for this is because bacteria from a gum infection can get into a pregnant woman’s bloodstream and increase inflammatory markers. When this happens premature contractions may ensue. This position is corroborated by a recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study found that moms-to-be who used mouthwash throughout their pregnancy were less likely to go into early labor.

For this a many other reasons, Dr. Bhullar believes that mouthwash clearly offers certain benefits when used properly. A simple saltwater rinses can be made at home with warm water and salt to achieve nearly the same result. However, commercially available mouthwashes may be preferable because they contain a variety of ingredients ranging from fluoride (Act) to alcohol (Listerine) to chlorhexidine (Peridex) that may be more effective at preventing gingivitis.

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