Swishing with the best of them

Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

The American Dental Association (ADA) has deemed mouth rinses as a solution to halitosis and a good preventive measure against tooth decay, plaque, and ultimately gingivitis. Mouthwashes contain various ingredients, including water, alcohol, cleansing agents, flavoring compounds and color agents. The active ingredients that are responsible are tackling issues like bad breath and tooth vary depending on the type of mouth rinse, which can been categorized in four main groups.

  • Antimicrobial agents attack oral bacteria, bringing down the prevalence of plaque, controlling the progression of gingivitis, and keeping bad breath at bay.
  • Fluoride help reduce the tooth decay found on tooth enamel and strengths teeth, keeping them less susceptible to decay.
  • Astringent salts are temporary odor-reducing agents that cover up bad breath.
  • Odor neutralizers respond by chemically inactivating odor-causing compounds.

Researchers have found that antibacterial mouth rinses can make a difference in masking or eliminating bad breath.  It was shown that halitosis is caused by the foods that have been trapped in the crevices of the mouth. These remaining foods break down into sulfur compounds, which are accountable for the smell. In the studies conducted, mouthwashes containing ingredients such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium were successful in getting rid of bad breath, while chlorine dioxide and zinc help take away bad smells through neutralization. Mouth rinses also have detoxing effects in the mouth, which can alleviate canker sores by controlling the amount of bacteria in the irritated site.

While mouth rinses have been shown to be beneficial in a whole host of ways, they do not go without some cons. While mouth rinses can soothe canker sores, high alcohol content in the mouthwash used can actually end up irritating canker sores. While mouthwashes are great for eliminating odors and preventing tooth decay, they are by no means a substitute for brushing and flossing. Individuals with poor oral hygiene cannot use mouth wash to mask poor health. There also has been much debate over whether alcohol-containing mouth rinses are connected with oral cancer. However, the American Dental Association has been extensively reviewing the effectiveness and safety of mouthwashes containing alcohol and has placed their seal of approval on some of these mouthwashes.

The take home message is that mouth rinses should always be used in conjunction with good hygiene, and it is always best to ask your dentists which mouthwash is more suitable and effective for you. If you have more concerns about this issue, Drs. Ali & Ali and their caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

 

References:

WebMD

Everyday Health.com

American Dental Association

 

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