Tag Archives: mouthwash

Do I Really Need to Use Mouthwash? | Riverside Dentist

Two of the most common dental problems for patients is tooth decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease). While they sound very different, they both have a common cause: bacteria within the mouth. While many people realize that mouthwash is effective as a breath-freshener, it can also save your teeth and gums.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Mouthwash helps maintain oral health by assisting in the process of killing bacteria that isn’t physically removed by the toothbrush or floss and minimizing bacteria on the insides of your cheek and the gum tissue near your teeth.

Mouthwash has other benefits as well. Physically swishing mouthwash within your mouth can wash leftover food particles. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s often advisable to use mouthwash prior to brushing – mouthwash may help loosen food particles that can be fully removed with the toothbrush.  Finally, some mouthwash contains fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken teeth.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Myth Busters: Mouthwash Edition | Riverside Dentist

As much as we hate to admit it, some of our favorite foods leave us with some of the worst breath. We enjoy our garlic, onions and coffee, and the dragon breath that follows is completely worth it. Pop in a stick of gum and we’re good. What if I told you it’s all a myth, that mouthwash isn’t helping you out with bad breath at all? Sorry to have to break the news, but it’s true.

So, what causes bad breath? While there are a few medical conditions that can cause bad breath, poor dental hygiene is generally what causes everyday cases of it. We naturally produce saliva to help our mouth maintain a healthy pH balance and break up all the built-up bacteria, giving us bad breath.

Okay, let’s look at mouthwash. We know for a fact that mouthwash is full of alcohol, some as much as 25 percent. We also know that alcohol dehydrates us. So, by default, mouthwash is also dehydrating. Now, if mouthwash dehydrates us, we are not producing enough saliva. Not enough saliva, our pH balance is thrown off and bacteria is allowed to collect. Mouthwash is actually doing the complete opposite of what we thought!

Now, what do we do? Drink water. The more you drink, the more saliva you’re producing. Brush and floss a couple times a day, and tongue scrape at least once daily. If you are in a jam, munching on an apple or a stick of gum will do the trick.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

How Mouthwash Has Been Lying to Us | Riverside Dentist

toothbrushLet’s face it, some of our favorite foods leave us with some of the worst breath. We enjoy our garlic, onions and coffee, and the state they leave our breath is horrific but completely worth it. Just gargle a little bit of mouthwash & we’re good…right? What if I told you it’s all a myth, that mouthwash isn’t helping you out with bad breath at all? Sorry to have to break the news, but it’s true.

Before I begin, let’s take a quick look at what causes bad breath in the first place. We have bacteria in our mouths, both good and bad. While there are a few medical conditions that can cause bad breath, poor dental hygiene is generally what causes everyday cases of it. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, it is easy for plaque and harmful bacteria to collect and multiply inside of our mouths. That’s where our saliva comes in. We naturally produce saliva to help our mouth maintain a healthy pH balance. We produce saliva, then it breaks up all the built-up bacteria and prevents it from sticking around, giving us bad breath. Couple that with your daily brushing and flossing, and you have a relatively healthy mouth.

Saliva is our natural line of defense against bad breath. Now let’s look at mouthwash. We know for a fact that mouthwash is full of alcohol, some as much as 25 percent. We also know that alcohol dehydrates us. So, by default, mouthwash is also dehydrating. Now, if mouthwash dehydrates us, we are not producing enough saliva. Not enough saliva, our pH balance is thrown off and bacteria is allowed to collect. Mouthwash is actually doing the complete opposite of what we thought!

But what about the claims made by mouthwash ads to “kill bacteria and bad breath chemically”? Well, mouthwash does kill bacteria. It has to with all of that alcohol in it. The problem is, mouthwash cannot distinguish between the harmful bacteria and the bacteria it needs to leave alone because it is actually helping our mouth.

There were once claims that mouthwash could actually replace your daily dental regime. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mouthwash cannot remove plaque. Nothing liquid can remove plaque. It needs to be removed by physically removing it with a toothbrush and floss. If you aren’t doing either of those, the plaque remains on your teeth and the mouthwash cannot get to the bacteria in order to kill it.

So, what do we do when we get a case of bad breath? Forget about mouthwash and use water. Brush and floss a couple times a day, and tongue scrape at least once daily. Your tongue is full of bacteria so a good scraping is pretty necessary. If you are in a jam and don’t have a dental kit around, munching on an apple or a stick of gum will do the trick. Both will help produce saliva. And don’t forget to drink lots of water. Not only is it just good for you and keeping you hydrated, but the more you drink, the more saliva you’re producing. No more bad breath!

If you are in need of a professional cleaning, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule an appointment today! Or visit www.gmdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly serves Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Benefits of Mouthwash | Dentist Riverside CA

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Two of the most common dental problems for patients is tooth decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease). While they sound very different, they both have a common cause: bacteria within the mouth. While many people realize that mouthwash is effective as a breath-freshener, it’s also very important in combating oral bacteria – not only does it make your breath smell nice, it can save your teeth and gums.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque (bacteria-rich film on the surface of teeth) before it hardens into tartar (mineralized plaque, which continues to damage teeth and tissue, but is much harder to remove). Mouthwash helps maintain oral health by assisting in the process of killing bacteria that isn’t physically removed by the toothbrush or floss.

While brushing and flossing often cleans teeth and gums, there are a number of different surfaces within your mouth – all of which can (and will) allow bacteria to live within your mouth. Many dentists recommend that in addition to brushing your teeth, you also use your toothbrush to clean bacteria from your tongue. Similarly, using mouthwash will help minimize bacteria on the insides of your cheek, and on the gum tissue near your teeth.

Mouthwash has other benefits as well. Physically swishing mouthwash within your mouth can   wash leftover food particles from your mouth. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s often advisable to use mouthwash prior to brushing – mouthwash may help loosen food particles that can be fully removed with the toothbrush.  Finally, some mouthwash contains fluoride – fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken teeth.

Brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleaning are the best ways to maintain a healthy mouth, but regularly using mouthwash when you brush your teeth can help minimize bacteria, remove food particles, and strengthen your tooth enamel. If you have questions about the right brand of mouthwash to consider, or about bacteria within your mouth, talk to your dentist on your next routine checkup – they’ll be happy to share their recommendation with you.