Truth about Mouthwash

Truth about Mouthwash

Does Mouthwash really work?

In our era, there is a medical substitute for almost every activity we perform for hygiene. One example is mouthwash liquids, which is filled with antiseptic ingredients to prevent bad breath – atleast that’s what the newsreels claim. Initially brought in to complement regular brushing of the teeth, the habit is now replacing it.

Bringing to the surface some findings that will dissuade us from regular use of these harmful chemicals,

Firstly, using the mouthwash twice a day clearly increases the blood pressure. Studies have shown an increase of up to 3.5 (mmHg) of BP measurement. High blood pressure is the root cause of coronary heart disease and its accompanying symptoms such as heart stroke and failure. In the long run, this also changes the way the blood is pumped into the inner walls of the arteries. Simply put, using mouthwash increases heart related diseases by 10%.

Secondly, it kills good bacteria. Overweight, lack of exercise also contribute to the high blood pressure. Body lays more stress on the heart to pump blood to each part for distributing nutrition and oxygen. Any blockades to the circulation system is relieved and dissolved by certain bacteria. The presence of this type is good for health. Indulging in mouthwash clears the mouth and throat area of these bacteria and thus increases the pressure on heart to perform. Technically, every contraction of the heart requires more energy than normal. Thus killing the ‘good’ bacteria along with ‘bad’ bacteria is a persistent problem of mouthwash products.

Thirdly, people with healthy gums should avoid using it daily. The reason is the presence of certain chemicals in the ingredients that are chemically unsafe in large doses. Example of one such harmful chemical is chlorhexidine. The have the potential to cause gum problems in initial stages and other serious issues in the long run.

It should however be noted that, using these chemicals has shown positive results to those who are suffering from bleeding gums or mouth ulcers. All said, chemicals are always secondary preference and the best way to stay healthy is to brush twice a day and gargle salt water once a week.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad