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How Do I Choose the Best Mouthwash for Gum Disease?

Mouthwash can help treat gum disease.
Some people cannot tolerate antimicrobial mouthwash.
Article Details
  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A regular oral hygiene regimen that includes rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash is the best way to prevent gum disease. The best mouthwash for gum disease is one that has antiseptic properties, especially those that contain alcohol or those available by prescription. Some mouthwashes contain ingredients for prevention of cavities, whitening and mask odors, but without an ingredient to kill bacteria, the effects of mouthwash for treating gum disease would be very small.

Though antimicrobial mouthwash is best for gum disease, some people can’t tolerate the strong flavor or burning sensation that may occur with use. If this is the case, a mouthwash containing cetylpyridinium do have an antimicrobial effect, even if less effective than alcohol. In severe cases, a prescription strength mouthwash may be required. When it comes to choosing mouthwash for gum disease prevention, only adults should use mouthwash containing alcohol as these products tend to be too strong-tasting for children and pose some risk if accidentally ingested.

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While the antiseptic properties of mouthwash are essential for prevention of gum disease, proper use of mouthwash is also important. Most mouthwash is more effective if use is delayed at least 30 minutes after brushing since some ingredients common in toothpastes may cause the active ingredients in mouthwash to be ineffective. This is especially true of prescription strength mouthwash for gum disease. To achieve the best effects from oral hygiene efforts, brush twice a day and rinse for one minute with mouthwash at least 30 minutes after one of the brushings. If your dentist or doctor provides you with a prescription mouthwash, follow the instructions for use provided by the pharmacist.

Other methods of preventing or controlling gum disease include thorough and proper brushing twice each day. Avoid toothpastes that contain harsh abrasives and toothbrushes with bristles that irritate the gums. Flossing between teeth at least once each day can also reduce gum disease by eliminating plaque where brush bristles do not reach. Reducing sugar intake is also an effective means of prevention. Prevention of gum disease is far easier than treating gum disease, so adopting a regular oral hygiene routine that includes regular use of mouthwash for gum disease prevention is beneficial. Moderate to severe gum disease that is marked by red, swollen, inflamed gums and bleeding when brushing should be evaluated by a dentist.

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Soulfox
Post 2

Here's another thing -- realize up front that most mouthwashes emphasize "fresh breath" over gum disease prevention or, honestly, anything else that is good for you. Read those labels carefully and understand that a mouthwash that is good for you will probably burn a little bit. You can handle it...

Terrificli
Post 1

The best way to pick out a mouthwash to prevent gum disease is to ask a dentist. That much is obvious, but here is what is not obvious -- make sure to be completely honest with your dentist about your hygiene. Indeed, a lot of people won't do that for some reason.

Here's the thing. Let's say you don't floss but lie to your dentist and say you do every now and again. If you don't floss, your dentist will lecture you but he will provide the mouthwash that will function best in your non-flossed mouth. Not being honest could result in something that won't be ideal for you.

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