Dry Mouth Could Occur Because of Alcohol in Your Mouthwash

Posted on 1/25/2021 by Amir Sanjabi, DDS
Dry Mouth Could Occur Because of Alcohol in Your MouthwashIf you want to have better dental checkups, you may want to switch out your mouthwash. Choose an antibacterial mouthwash instead of one with alcohol, as alcohol can dry out your mouth, which triggers problems with dental decay and gum disease.

Why Alcohol Is Bad to Add in a Mouth Rinse

While alcohol is purported to kill germs, it also dries out the mouth, which makes your teeth more susceptible to decay. Your saliva contains minerals, such as calcium and phosphate, which build the enamel and make it stronger. Without saliva to remineralize the teeth or neutralize the amount of mouth bacteria, your mouth becomes a breeding ground for acid attacks and decay. Therefore, it is better to use a mouthwash that contains antibacterial ingredients that will eliminate bad breath.

What Is a Better Mouthwash to Use?

When mouth odor is a problem, volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) contribute to the problem. VSCs result from the breakdown of food, bacteria, and the biofilm called plaque. While some mouthwashes with alcohol can mask bad breath with a pleasing flavor, they dry out the mouth and do not address the VSCs. Therefore, according to the ADA, you need to use a therapeutic mouthwash that contains antimicrobials, such as chlorhexidine, chlorine dioxide, cetylpyridinium chloride, and essential oils, such as thymol, menthol, or eucalyptol. Other ingredients that will inhibit odor problems include terpene, ketone, and zinc salts. While additives, such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium, along with zinc lactate, can get rid of bad breath, they also can contribute to tooth stains. The ADA states that mouthwashes that contain cellulose derivatives, animal mucins, or enzymes replicate the feel and make-up of saliva, and therefore may provide some relief from the symptoms of xerostomia or dry mouth.

Are you still not sure what mouthwash to use? If so, we can provide you with some recommended brands. Call us anytime to schedule an appointment for an oral health concern or to get a dental cleaning or exam.

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