We’ve all heard about the benefits of mouthwash. There’s no denying that this oral hygiene product helps get rid of bad breath, but others go beyond just that. They promise to eliminate mouth bacteria as well and help correct other issues, such as gum problems and cavities. But is using mouthwash really good for us or are these benefits just claims of the makers of these products?
The Dangers of Using Mouthwash
Expecting moms are actually told to use mouthwash since periodontal disease is a risk factor for preterm births and babies with low birth. Bacteria from an infection of the gums can move to the bloodstream of the pregnant woman. This can start inflammation and may lead to contractions.
A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology funded by Proctor and Gamble discovered that those who used mouthwash while they were pregnant had lower risk for early labor.
Quite obviously, mouthwash does have some clear benefits, but it doesn’t mean that such product should be used without caution. According to some studies, there are a few negatives as we use these mouth rinses:
1. It is bad for people with canker sores.
Most mouthwash products contain high amounts of alcohol. If you keep using your mouthwash, this can irritate your canker sores. This can be quite confusing because mouthwash is actually used to soothe canker sores by reducing the bacteria around the irritated area. To avoid too much alcohol in your mouth, use saltwater rinse or other home remedies
2. It only masks bad breath.
It is true that using mouthwash can help get rid of embarrassing bad breath. However, you shouldn’t use it as a permanent solution. If you have poor oral hygiene, such as you don’t brush your teeth at least twice a day and you don’t brush effectively, no amount of mouth rinse can conceal the effects of being unhealthy.
3. Mouthwashes may cause oral cancer.
There have been some discussions among medical experts and researchers regarding the link between oral cancer and mouthwashes with alcohol. This debate has been around since the 70s and until now, there’s no definitive answer.
4. Mouthwash may damage DNA.
A study showed that mouthwashes have a negative impact on our cheek cells. The contents of most mouthwashes used in the study can pass through the membranes of the nucleus and the cells, easily affecting the cheek cells DNA. This is where significant damage happens.
The bottom line here is that you shouldn’t use mouthwash as a substitute to brushing your teeth. Even when mouthwashes can help lessen cavities and periodontal disease risk, you should always use these products in conjunction with proper hygiene habits.