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Mouthrinse for Gum Disease: Another Good Tool

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

If you've recently felt pain in your gums after flossing or noticed a reddish tint in the sink after brushing and spitting out your toothpaste, you may be experiencing the initial stages of gum disease. It usually begins as a mild case of inflamed gums known as gingivitis. But if left untreated, this condition can lead to periodontal disease, a more severe condition that can lead to tooth loss.

Gum disease results from bacteria that builds up in your mouth, turning into plaque and then tartar. So it's imperative to use oral care tactics that will remove bacteria before they make a permanent home for themselves in your mouth. Using mouthrinse (sometimes referred to as therapeutic mouthwash) for gum disease can significantly help you win this battle and help you maintain a healthy and pain-free smile!

Time to Take Action

When bacterial plaque is not thoroughly removed from your teeth and from around your gums, you may start to notice signs of early gum disease. The standard signs of mild gum disease – or gingivitis – are bad breath and red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Advanced gum disease symptoms include sensitive or even loose teeth, painful chewing, and a receding gumline. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's time to call your dental professional and bring out the dental artillery! The sooner you fight signs of gum disease, the greater your chance of reversing it.

How Mouthrinse Can Help

Did you know that many people use a cosmetic mouthwash to freshen their breath? But a mouthrinse formulated to kill germs can do much more for you – especially if you're showing signs of early gum disease. An over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthrinse can kill 99 percent of germs on contact and provide several hours of protection against germs even after you've eaten a meal or had a drink. Because it kills the bacteria responsible for gingivitis and bad breath simultaneously, an antimicrobial mouthrinse is an excellent add-on to your regular oral hygiene routine to prevent or reverse gum disease.

When shopping for an antimicrobial mouthrinse, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you look for a product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Your dentist and dental hygienist will always recommend that you choose a product with the ADA Seal, as these products have gone through rigorous scientific tests to confirm that they are safe and they do what they claim to do.

Ongoing or Advanced Care

Perhaps your gingivitis is getting worse and has advanced to periodontal disease. Or maybe your gingivitis hasn't progressed, but it's still not going away after committing to a vigorous at-home oral care routine. If your dentist is treating you for gum disease that has yet to subside, they will probably advise you to use a prescription-strength mouthrinse as a part of your treatment regimen.

This rinse treats gingivitis by attacking germs to reduce inflammation, bleeding gums, and plaque formation. A mouthrinse is a safe and effective product, but you need to follow your dental professional's instructions for use as you would with any drug. Let your dental professional know if you have any sensitivity or adverse side effects while using a prescription-strength mouthrinse.

Other Tools to Fight Gum Disease

When it comes to fighting gum disease, don't forget the basics! Brushing your teeth twice a day promotes a healthy and confident smile. It's your primary defense to clean plaque (biofilm) from your teeth and gums. And the daily use of an interdental cleaner, such as floss or a water flosser, is necessary to remove plaque from between your teeth. Also, be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months. Frayed bristles don't clean well, and old brushes can harbour bacteria.

Remember, once plaque turns into tartar, you can't remove it with your at-home oral care routine. Regular, professional cleanings at your dental professional's office will remove the plaque and hardened tartar that forms on your teeth before it has a chance to cause gum disease. A professional cleaning can also help reverse gingivitis in its early stages. If you tend to build up a fair amount of tartar between your regular professional cleanings, your dental professional may recommend a tartar control toothpaste and more frequent cleanings.

Antimicrobial mouthrinse is a great tool to have in your arsenal for keeping your gums healthy. But to be effective, you should use a mouthrinse for gum disease in conjunction with your other tried-and-true hygiene tools. We recommend speaking with your dentist and dental hygienist at your next professional dental cleaning about how best to mitigate your chances of getting gum disease. The best mouthrinse for periodontal disease or gingivitis will depend on the stage of your gum disease. Beyond eating a diet low in sugar and full of nutrient-rich food, following a robust oral care routine, and regularly visiting your dental professional, incorporating mouthrinse into your daily routine can be a beneficial step in fighting gum disease.