Mouthwash: Pros & Cons
“Brush and floss, brush and floss!” Those are the words that are murmured over and over again by our hygienists here at Periodontal Associates, and in conjunction with that advice, Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman always make a point to remind their Aurora patients about the benefits of using mouthwash regularly, especially for our patients who complete gum graft treatment.
Let’s first explore the plethora of positive outcomes that occur from mouthwash use. Mouthwash is not used in replacement of brushing and flossing, but the ingredients found in mouthwash help prevent and break away tartar and plaque, freshen breath, reduce gingivitis, and prevent tooth decay. This liquid is able to flow through hard to reach surfaces as an extra safety barrier against bacteria as brushing cleans only the cheek, tongue, and biting surfaces of the teeth. Periodontal disease starts and does its greatest damage between the teeth so mouthwash is best when combined with regular brushing and flossing to reach those most neglected places. Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman rely on such mouth rinses for their periodontal patients to fight inflammation, and many patients with gum grafts will use mouthwash multiple times a day to keep it clean as directly brushing around gum grafts is delayed during healing.
Are there cons to using this mouth rinse? The problems with mouth rinses are very few. The only concern to be aware of is for those with allergies. As we age allergies can dissipate, but allergies can also first appear later in adult life as researchers believe it can be triggered by some sort of virus or infection. Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman warn their Aurora patients to be proactive about their health and allergies as some patients can be allergic to antiseptic chlorhexidine and must be cautious about mouthwash. Symptoms of mouthwash allergies can be the presence of a rash, itching or more severe reaction s can cause patients to faint or feel light headed due to a drop in blood pressure. If you suffer from these allergies, please contact Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman at Periodontal Associates so they can help you find the best products to safely enhance your oral health.
As you have read, there are many more positive notions about using mouthwash regularly versus not at all, and researchers strive to only increase the benefits of this refreshing mouth rinse. A new iodine mouthwash has been discovered to safely fight gingivitis while also lowering LDL cholesterol. The Biomedical Development Corporation has already run a successful three month trial. The center for Oral Health Research at the University of Kentucky will also continue to follow this new rinse in their own trials. The iodine mouthwash is hoped to be used once a day for a 30 second time period. The iodine helps the thyroid function which then boosts the body’s immune response system. The mouthwash will not only fight bacteria in the mouth and gums, but it will also increase defenses again bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the entire body. This is good news for Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman as many of our patients in the Denver metro area are at risk for other system disease due to their moderate to severe gum disease. Research studies have shown that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications, and respiratory disease.