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When is Alcohol Based Mouthwash a Better Option?

Posted on 6/23/2017 by Dr. Justin Lai
A man using mouthwash.
Mouthwash is an important part of your oral hygiene routine. It not only gives you fresh breath, it also kills harmful bacteria and prevents the buildup of plaque. Along with brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist, mouthwash can help you keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Many mouthwashes are formulated with alcohol, which can burn your mouth, as well as dry it out. Despite these downsides, there are some instances where alcohol based mouthwash may be a better option.

Preventing Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious condition that, untreated, only gets worse. It starts as an infection of your gums, causing inflammation and redness, and eventually progresses to periodontitis.

Bacteria fall below the gums and attack your teeth and jawbone. This leads to infections in your teeth, a receding gum line and tooth loss. Alcohol kills bacteria. If your mouth is free of gum disease, an alcohol based mouthwash can help to keep it that way.

Destroying Plaque Quickly
Mouthwash contains essential oils that help to kill bacteria and destroy plaque, the sticky film that builds up on your teeth and collects bacteria, allowing the bacteria to adhere to your teeth and quickly destroy them with the acids they produce. The alcohol in mouthwash allows the formula to quickly penetrate plaque buildup and provide effective results.

Alcohol or No Alcohol?
The decision on which type of mouthwash to use it up to you. There are many alcohol-free varieties that are just as effective as those that contain alcohol. If you have been using a mouthwash that contains alcohol, and you don't experience any adverse effects, there is no reason to change, unless you want to.

However, if you do experience discomfort with alcohol-based mouthwashes, not only should you switch, you should make an appointment with your dentist to see what is causing irritation to your gums.

There are some instances where using an alcohol based mouthwash may be a better option than using one without. Contact our office to learn the benefits of each and learn which is the best option for you.

General and Cosmetic Dentistry

From crowns and bridges to periodontal care and extractions, Justin Lai, DDS offers a wide range of general and cosmetic dental treatments. If you have a dental concern, Dr. Lai will have a solution.

Edge Dental is equipped with digital x-rays, intra-oral cameras and 3-dimensional cone beam imaging to gain the best possible information about patient dental health. This enables Dr. Lai to view teeth, gum tissue and surrounding bone structures in high resolution from all angles. Based on findings, treatment plans are designed to optimize oral health with minimally invasive procedures.

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Dr. Justin Lai
(281) 940-6960
15455 Memorial Drive, Suite 400
Houston, TX 77079
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