Using mouthwash has its pros and cons. Even though mouthwash is an effective tool for preventing plaque build up, stopping cavities from forming and freshening breath, it can have some adverse affects due to its alcohol content.
One of the warnings given by the dentists to their patients is to avoid using mouthwashes that provide high alcohol content. High alcohol content in mouthwash gives your mouth a burning sensation. Very high alcohol content can irritate the sensitive tissue in your mouth. For some people, this can cause ulcers and dry mouth. It can also alter taste. So, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and find it hard to keep the mouthwash in your mouth for the recommended time, then it isn’t the right mouthwash for you.
Another potential adverse affect to using mouthwash is the possibility of it causing oral or pharyngeal cancer. An Australian Researcher claimed to have found sufficient evidence to link the alcohol content in mouthwash to oral cancer (source) but it has thus far not been accepted as conclusive evidence (source and source). What scientist agree on is that the high intake of alcohol in mouthwash can increase the risk of cancer. This is associated with regular and prolonged use of mouthwashes that contain high levels of alcohol and possibly may increase a persons risk.
Bottom line, if you are using a mouthwash and feel a burning sensation, then chances are that mouthwash is not the right choice for you. It could be causing more damage then good. Pick a mouthwash with a lower alcohol content for best oral health results.
How To Use Mouthwash Properly
- First, brush and floss your teeth.
- Pour the correct amount of mouthwash according to the manufacturer into your mouth.
- Rinse and swish vigorously in your mouth for 30-60 seconds.
- At this point you may choose to spit this solution out and use new solution to gargle, or you may use the current solution in your mouth.
- Gargle the solution for 30-60 seconds as well. 30-60 seconds might seem long but it is important to do because a lot of the bacteria that causes bad breath reside in the back of the mouth by the throat.
- Spit out the solution in the sink.