The Problem With Mouthwash
Mouthwash kills good AND bad bacteria. It may seem like a good idea to get rid of the bacteria in the mouth, but by killing ALL of the bacteria, it throws off the balance in our oral microbiome. That said, it’s a good idea to stay away from mouthwashes that kill 99% of all the bacteria.
Here are some other common mouthwash ingredients that may harm your oral microbiome:
Alcohol – Kills all bacteria, both good and bad.
Hydrogen peroxide – Kills all bacteria, both good and bad. It may also kill the cells inside your teeth.
Chlorhexidine – A broad-spectrum antimicrobial commonly found in mouthwashes. It may stain your teeth, increase calculus formations, and alter your taste perception.
A recent study showed only one week of mouthwash use alters the oral microbiome, lowering saliva pH, increasing acidity and heightening the risk of tooth damage.
Mouthwashes can affect other areas of the body by eliminating other sources of beneficial bacteria. One of the most common places is the good bacteria that live in your stomach and digestive tract that help with digestion and nutrient absorption.
Some of the common issues of dysbiosis (gut bacteria imbalance) are:
Acid reflux or heartburn
Vaginal or rectal infections or itching
Food intolerance, gas, and bloating
Inflammation and aching joints
Acne, skin rashes, and psoriasis
A recent study has also shown an increase in diabetes in mouthwash users (people who use mouthwash twice a day are 49% more likely to develop diabetes). In killing all of this helpful bacteria, mouthwash is killing the bacteria responsible for nitric oxide. Low levels of nitric oxide production is linked with higher instances of diabetes, as well as other disease such as asthma, heart disease, dementia, and more….
Better Options for Oral Health
The best way to achieve good oral health and to keep your breath smelling nice, your teeth bright white, and your gums healthy is to follow good brushing and flossing practices each and everyday. You really don’t need mouthwash unless you have major underlying dental needs that have to be addressed. Maybe you are the type of person who loves their mouthwash routine and just feel better with that clean feeling in your mouth? In which case, do take the time to search for some of the healthier options for mouthwash choices, and avoid the ones with the chemicals mentioned above.