close-up of a woman pouring mouthwash from bottle into cap

Mouthwash for Gum Disease: Another Good Tool

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. If left untreated, this condition can lead to periodontal disease, a more severe condition that can result in tooth loss.

Gum disease results from germs that build up in your mouth, turning into plaque and then tartar. As such, it's imperative to use oral care tactics that will remove germs before they make a permanent home for themselves in your mouth. Using mouthwash (sometimes referred to as therapeutic mouthwash or mouthrinse) 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 plaque is not thoroughly removed from your teeth and from around your gums, you may start to notice signs of early gum problems. The standard signs of mild gum disease are bad breath and red, swollen, or inflamed 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 the signs of gum disease, the greater your chance of reversing the condition.

How Mouthwash 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 help 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 germs responsible for gum problems 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, follow your dentist's recommendation to make sure you choose a product that has undergone scientific tests to confirm it is safe and effective.

Ongoing or Advanced Care

Perhaps your gum problems are getting worse and have advanced to periodontal disease. Or maybe your condition hasn't progressed, but your at-home oral care routine still has not resolved it. If your dentist is treating you for gum disease that has yet to subside, they may advise you to use a prescription-strength mouthwash as a part of your treatment regimen.

This rinse treats gum problems 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 medicine. Let your dental professional know if you have any sensitivity or adverse side effects while using a prescription-strength mouthwash.

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 defence 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 germs.

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 gum problems in the 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 mouthwash 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-tested 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 mouthwash for periodontal disease or milder gum problems 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 mouthwash into your daily routine can be a beneficial step in fighting gum disease.