Mouthwash is an antiseptic solution that helps to reduce the microbial load in the oral cavity. Mouthwash is used as an adjunct to brushing, but not as a substitute to brushing. Brushing alone cannot remove all bacteria and plaque from the oral cavity.
TYPES OF MOUTHWASHES:-
Various types of mouthwashes are available in the market such as Therapeutic mouthwash which contains Chlorhexidine Gluconate, Herbal mouthwashes such as Hiora and Essential oils mouthwashes such as Listerine. Therapeutic mouthwashes are strong antimicrobial agents that can kill the bacteria and minimizes the oral malodor (i.e Halitosis) or bad breathe.
Mouthwash containing anesthetic agents such as Lidocaine helps to reduce intraoral pain or in a burning sensation. Mouthwash containing peroxide helps to reduce extrinsic tooth stains. Mouthwashes containing fluoride helps in remineralization and prevent tooth decay. Mouthwash containing alcohol should be avoided in a situation where oral mucosa dryness occurs.
Nowadays, various people confused which mouthwash is better either therapeutic or herbal?
All are effective against the microbial load in the oral cavity. Therapeutic one has certain limitation when compared to essential oil and herbal one.
Since therapeutic mouthwash contains Chlorhexidine gluconate which on prolonged use causes- 1) Change in the perception of taste, 2) Tooth staining, 3) Inflammation of oral soft tissue, 4) Hypersensitivity reaction.
USES- Mouthwash needs to be diluted with water so that it is effective and reduce collateral damage to the oral tissue. Hence it is advisable that mouthwash containing therapeutic agents used only for 14 days. Alcohol containing mouthwash causes Xerostomia(Dry mouth) and worsen the halitosis.
Conclusion– Mouthwashes are boon in dentistry in recent years. It helps to remove plaque and microbial load in gingivitis cases. Therefore frequently use of mouthwashes in adjunct with brushing can maintain good oral hygiene and healthy gums.
Submitted by: Dr. Himanshu Singh