Why You Should Make Sure to Rinse with an Antimicrobial Mouthwash Daily
Posted on 11/16/2020 by Kian Djawdan DMD
Antimicrobial mouthwash can be a powerful addition to your everyday oral hygiene routine. Combined with brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash for thirty seconds once or twice per day can help fight tooth decay and gum disease.
What is Antimicrobial Mouthwash?
Antimicrobial means killing microorganisms and inhibiting their growth. Antimicrobial agents kill not only bacteria, but other harmful microorganisms such as parasites, fungi, and viruses as well. Most over-the-counter mouthwashes are mild antimicrobials because they reduce the number of bacteria and other microbes in your mouth. Most bacteria that contributes to tooth decay and gum disease should be able to be destroyed with proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, but an over-the-counter mouthwash can help if you feel that your oral hygiene routine needs an extra boost.
However, there are also prescription strength antimicrobial mouthwashes that can be used to eliminate certain bacteria that cause gum disease. These would be prescribed as a treatment for various stages of gum disease rather than as a preventative measure.
Who Should Use Antimicrobial Mouthwash?
If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, moderate gum disease, or even advanced periodontitis, we might prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash that is significantly more powerful than an over-the-counter rinse. The antimicrobial rinse that is most commonly prescribed is called Chlorhexidine. This mouthwash kills certain bacteria that cause gum disease, reducing it to a nearly undetectable amount. Studies have shown that using a strong antimicrobial mouthwash in combination with other gum disease treatments can reduce your likelihood of needing gum surgery by 80 percent. If we prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash to treat your gum disease, we will give you specific instructions on how and when to use it.
If you do not suffer from gum disease and just want to use a mouth rinse to supplement your everyday oral hygiene routine, an over-the-counter mouthwash should be sufficient. Call our office if you have questions about the type of mouthwash you should be using.