Most Mouthwashes Just Don’t Wash
Though they may leave your mouth with a clean, fresh taste, some rinses can be harmful, concealing bad breath and unpleasant taste that may be signs of serious periodontal diseases which cause inflammation and degeneration of the supporting structures of the teeth, and tooth decay.
Most over-the-counter (OTC) mouthwashes, while they may be effective oral antiseptics that freshen the mouth and curb bad breath for a few hours; have limited success in helping prevent tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Many of these OTC mouth rinses aren’t much more effective against plaque and periodontal disease than rinsing with plain water.
Habitual use of antiseptic mouthwashes containing high levels of alcohol (18% to 26%) by adults, may produce a burning sensation in the cheeks, teeth and gums. Such mouthwashes can also cause intoxication if swallowed or used excessively.
Therapeutic mouth rinses (containing more concentrated formulas) prescribed by the dentist for those patients with more severe oral problems such as caries, periodontal disease, gum inflammation and dry mouth differ from commercial (brand-name) OTC products because they are made with specific anti-plaque; anti-gingivitis or anti-cavity fluoride ingredients, and are available by prescription only.
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