Your dentist might have told you that a mouthwash is a great addition to your day to day dental regime.
When used along with frequent brushing and flossing, mouthwash has a horde of health benefits to offer. However, mouth washing should not be used to substitute tooth brushing (Source).
One of the biggest concerns that many users today have about mouthwash solutions is the burning sensation they are associated with.
This burning sensation is particularly noticeable when you use the conventional alcohol-based mouthwash, such as Listerine.
Have you ever gargled or swished a mouthwash before or after brushing your teeth? if you have, you definitely have experienced this burning sensation.
As such, it is safe to say that mouthwash actually ‘burns’; but does this have to be the case every time you use a mouthwash?
To help you understand what actually caused this burning feeling, this article will examine the various ingredients commonly used in mouthwash solutions today.
What Exactly is a Mouthwash Solution?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Exactly is a Mouthwash Solution?
- 2 Important, Yet Burns, Why?
- 3 Importance of Mouthwash
- 4 The Best Mouthwash Solutions
- 5 What Did We Learn?
This is a solution that is meant to be gargled or swirled after brushing the teeth with the aim of removing food particles lodged in the teeth.
Mouthwash is also good at dissolving as well as preventing the buildup of bacterial plaque in the mouth.
According to the leading dentists, disinfecting the mouth is a great oral hygiene practice.
As such, Mouthwash solutions should be used along with other dental hygiene practices like twice-a-day flossing and brushing.
Careful, though, a Mouthwash should never replace the twice-a-day brushing and flossing routine.
Important, Yet Burns, Why?
The main cause of the burning sensation associated with mouthwash solutions is the ethanol ingredient.
So, why does the ethanol ingredient make the mouthwash feel like it is burning the mouth after swishing the mouth with a mouthwash solution?
As compared to ethanol-free mouthwash solutions, ethanol-based mouthwash solutions are known to produce a more distinct burning sensation in the mouth.
This is probably why a good number of people today believe that the burning sensation is caused by the ethanol ingredient in such products.
Ethanol Acting as a Solvent
As an ingredient in mouthwash solutions, ethanol is used as a solvent; to keep essential oils dissolved within the solution. In addition to the tingling sensation it is said to produce in the mouth, ethanol is also known to dry the mouth. This, in turn, can lead to several other mouth problems.
Owing to such negative effects of ethanol in the mouse, prolonged use of ethanol-based mouthwashes can cause irritations in the mouth tissues.
Actually, long term use of such mouthwash solutions can end up damaging the salivary glands. Even so, ethanol is not the only ingredient to blame for the burning sensation associated with ethanol-based mouthwash solutions.
Listerine and its Ingredients
Some of the leading alcohol-based mouthwash solutions, such as Listerine, contain a group of ingredients referred to as isomers.
Such ingredients include thymol, menthol. Methyl salicylate and eucalyptol. While these ingredients play a key role in killing germs in the mouth, they are also known to irritate the skin.
Importance of Mouthwash
A considerable number of people today shy off from using mouthwash solutions because of the tingling sensation they produce in the mouth.
Regardless of the case, mouthwash solutions can be a great addition to your dental routine.
When used appropriately, mouthwash solutions have a horde of health benefits to offer.
Some of the benefits associated with the leading mouthwash solutions today include:
Disinfects the Mouth
Bacterial plaque and other germs in the mouth can lead to serious dental problems, if not checked. Such germs can lead to such periodontal diseases as gingivitis. This infection causes the tooth sockets and gums to become inflamed.
To avoid such complications in your mouth, it is advisable to disinfect your mouth every once in a while. One of the best ways of disinfecting the mouth today is using an antibacterial mouthwash.
However, most of the antibacterial mouthwash solutions available today contain chlorhexidine or alcohol as ingredients.
As such, they will disinfect the mouth and prevent periodontal diseases. However, you will still have to bear with the burning sensation associated with such ingredients.
Reduces Teeth Cavities
Based on scientific studies, a fluoride rinse can reduce teeth cavities significantly. As a matter of fact, numerous studies carried out in the past have proven that fluoride can reduce cavitations and demineralization of teeth.
Benefits for Pregnant Mothers
Many people do not know of this, but the bets mouthwash solutions have been proven to have indirect benefits for pregnant mothers.
According to research findings, periodontal disease is considered to be a predisposing factor to giving birth to a low-weight, preterm baby.
The bacteria infecting the guns, in such a case, may find their way into the mother’s bloodstream. This, in turn, increases inflammatory markers in their bodies.
This increase in the level of inflammatory markers may then trigger contractions. As such, mother who use the right mouthwash as part of their dental hygiene routine are less likely to go into early labor.
Soothing Effect for Canker Sores
When used properly, mouthwash solutions are known to disinfect the mouth. By so doing, mouthwash solutions have been proven to have a soothing effect for canker sores.
This is simply because the solution reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth, which can irritate the canker sores.
The Best Mouthwash Solutions
While the burning sensation associated with such solutions is still a key concern, not all mouthwash solutions produce such effects.
As you have learned earlier in this guide, mouthwash solutions are an impotent part of dental hygiene.
This being the case, you really need to start using a mouthwash.
However, you need to get the right mouthwash solution to avoid such effects as a burning sensation in the mouth. In this regard, here are some of the things you should consider:
Steer Clear of Alcohol-based Mouthwash
When used as an ingredient in mouthwash solutions, alcohol is a great antiseptic. However, it has been proven to dry the mouth and may be too harsh for mouth tissues. As such, prolonged use of alcohol-based mouthwash solutions can have a damaging effect on your mouth.
To begin with, mouthwash solutions that have an alcohol content of between 20 and 30 percent will produce a distinct burning effect whenever you swish or gargle. Dry mouth—caused by such a high ethanol content in mouthwash solutions—is another problem altogether.
As you may be aware, alcohol is a desiccant; hence dries out the mouth. This, in turn, has been proven to reduce saliva production in the mouth. Since saliva plays a big role in fighting bad breath, this dehydration will eventually result in bad breath.
With such considerations in mind, it is advisable to buy a mouthwash that is alcohol-free. Currently, there are several alcohol-free mouthwash solutions that are less irritating to the mouth and are great at disinfecting the mouth. For instance, Listerine is well renowned for its burning sensation.
However, the manufacturer recently unveiled a mouthwash that is alcohol-free.
Dilute Mouthwash Using Warm Water
Whether you prepared the mouthwash on your own or bought a commercial mouthwash solution, you should always use it with warm water. As compared to cold water, warm water is relatively thorough at cleaning the mouth.
Additionally, the warm water will also soothe the mouth to some extent. This will, in turn, reduce the burning sensation significantly. However, you should ensure that the water is not too hot to be uncomfortable.
Check the Mouthwash Ingredients
While alcohol is a powerful disinfectant, it may end up doing more harm to your mouth than good.
There are several other alternative ingredients to alcohol that are being used in mouthwash solutions today.
Oxidizing chemicals, for example, have been proven to be effective at neutralizing sulfur compounds and terminating anaerobic bacteria in the mouth.
Instead of buying an alcohol-based mouthwash, you should go for solutions with such oxidizing chemicals as zinc chloride, chlorine dioxide and hydrogen peroxide.
What Did We Learn?
When it comes to maintaining a good oral hygiene and preventing bad breath, incorporating the right mouthwash solution is a great dental practice.
While most of the leading mouthwash products are known to produce a burning sensation in the mouth, this does not have to be the case.
As you have learned throughout this guide, this tingling sensation may be attributed to the use of alcohol and several other irritating ingredients in such products.
Despite such negative effects, mouthwash solutions have a horde of health benefits to offer.
Rather than overhauling the whole idea of using a mouthwash, you only need to shop for the best product that features less irritating ingredients.
For instance, you could go for mouthwash solutions that contain zinc chloride, chlorine dioxide or hydrogen peroxide as opposed to alcohol.