How Alcohol-Based Mouthwash Can Damage Your Gums
Posted on 6/15/2018 by Dr. Dennison
|Using a good mouthwash after you finish brushing your teeth should be a basic part of your routine oral hygiene practice. After all, a toothbrush only gets in so many areas, and the bacteria that live in your mouth may survive even the most thorough brushing. By using a good mouthwash, you are able to reach crevices and spots that a mouthwash cannot.
At the same time, we frequently see people who have damaged their gums by doing what they thought they were supposed to do: using mouthwash. Here is the thing: not all mouthwashes are good for your mouth. In fact, some mouthwashes can actually contribute to bad breath. Here is more information.
Alcohol-Based Mouthwash Can Cause Bad Breath
Many people use mouthwash to help reduce the levels of bacteria in their mouths. These bacteria can contribute to bad breath. As such, it seems to many people that the way to fight bad breath is to kill the odor-causing bacteria.
However, a mouthwash with alcohol in it can actually make the problem worse. Of course, it does kill the bacteria, but it can also damage gum tissue. The dead gum tissue then can act as a food source to the very bacteria that you are trying to eliminate, leading to increased bacteria populations and more bad breath.
Damaging Your Gums
Alcohol is a very potent compound. Used in the right way, it can be very helpful. However, in the wrong application, it can be damaging.
Alcohol kills the living tissue with which it comes into contact. Obviously, this isn't a problem when you get it on your hands or skin, because the skin is a hardy enough barrier to withstand it.
However, when it comes into contact with tissue like gum tissue, the result can become tissue death. For healthy gums, reach for mouthwash. Just make sure it is alcohol free.
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