Can Mouthwash Help Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease affects nearly half of all American adults, and is the leading cause of preventable tooth loss in older adults and seniors. Wondering how to prevent periodontal disease? You may be considering using mouthwash to help clean your gums and teeth. But does mouthwash actually help stop gum disease, or should you skip it? Find out in this blog from Ward Periodontics now.

Mouthwash Use, Along With Brushing & Flossing, Can Help Prevent Gum Disease

In clinical studies, it’s been shown that antibacterial mouthwashes can reduce plaque biofilm, kill bacteria in hard-to-reach places below the gums, and eliminate bacteria on non-tooth oral surfaces including the cheeks, tongue, and more.

Because of this, mouthwash is considered to be helpful for preventing gum disease. However, it’s not an effective method of preventing gum disease on its own. Instead, it’s intended to be used alongside proper brushing and flossing habits.

Brushing and flossing helps remove more plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums because the floss or toothbrush contacts your teeth and gums directly, removing biofilm and plaque from the tissue.

So, just because you use mouthwash does not mean that you should stop brushing once a day for two minutes, or that you can stop flossing. But if you continue to brush and floss normally and also incorporate mouthwash into your oral care routine, you’ll benefit from a lower risk of developing gum disease.

What Kind Of Mouthwash Is Best For Preventing Gum Disease?

With so many types of mouthwash out there, it’s hard to know which ones may be right for preventing gum disease. So we’ve got a few ground rules you should follow when picking a mouthwash. 

  • Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes – Mouthwash with alcohol is not ideal if you want to prevent gum disease. The ethanol in this type of mouthwash can cause dryness of the mouth (xerostomia) which can actually increase your risk of gum disease. It can also irritate the soft tissues of your mouth, and cause uncomfortable burning sensations.
  • Look for antibacterial active ingredients – Look for ingredients that are labeled “antiplaque/antigingivitis.” These ingredients will help kill oral bacteria, freshen your breath, and prevent gum disease.
  • Consider an “all-in-one” mouthwash – Mouthwash that contains both fluoride and antibacterial ingredients will help both strengthen your teeth against decay, and reduce your risk of gum disease.

Prescription Mouthwash Can Help Treat & Reverse Gingivitis

In some cases, prescription-strength mouthwash with ingredients like chlorhexidine may be prescribed by Dr. Audra Ward as part of a periodontal care program to reverse and treat gingivitis. Make sure you use prescription mouthwash as instructed by Dr. Ward.

These oral rinses are used to help reduce gum swelling and redness, and control gum bleeding. Over time, with proper oral care, you will be able to completely eliminate gingivitis and restore your oral health. 

Take Control Of Your Gum Health With Proper At-Home Dental Hygiene

The best way to prevent gum disease is by cleaning your teeth properly. And by brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing once a day, and incorporating antibacterial mouthwash into your routine, you can give yourself the best defense against gum disease. 

So follow these tips. And if you want more information or need help with gum disease treatment in Overland Park, Ward Periodontics is here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (913) 563-7400 for a consultation with Dr. Audra Ward, and get the treatment you need.