The Fight Against Gum Disease

What role does mouthwash play in combating gingivitis and periodontitis?

It is a fact that most of us will, at some time or another, suffer from gum disease. This may occur at a time, perhaps, when we are neglecting our oral health care a little, such as when we are ill. Despite having early stage gum disease though, we may not even notice it unless we have sore or bleeding gums.

In many cases, the problem will simply disappear once we resume our usual brushing and flossing routine. If gum disease is allowed to advance past this stage though, it may require intervention by our Bromley dental team to remove hardened plaque that has built up.


The best way of tackling gum disease is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This is done through regular brushing and flossing of the teeth which remove not only small pieces of food that have become lodged in our teeth, but also much of the harmful gingival bacteria that can lead to gum disease.

What role, if any, though, does mouthwash have to play in this fight?


The fact is that whilst a mouthwash can help to remove some of the bacteria, it certainly will not do so on its own, and in no way should a mouthwash be used as a substitute for either brushing or flossing.

Although it may appear to be a convenient solution and will leave your mouth feeling fresh, it will not dislodge food debris or sufficient bacteria to prevent gum disease.

Indeed, some mouthwashes are alcohol based, which, whilst not harmful in itself, can contribute to the user having a dry mouth which is an ideal environment for gingival bacteria to breed.

The advice of the Smile Dental Practice in Bromley is that, when using a mouthwash, choose a non alcohol based one and avoid using within an hour or so of brushing your teeth as some brands may cause discolouration of the teeth if done at the same time.

Oral Health

By ensuring that you brush your teeth on a regular basis and change the toothbrush, or head of an electric toothbrush, every three months, as well as adding flossing to your regimen if you already don’t; you will be well on the way to beating gum disease. Should you choose to add mouthwash to this regimen, then that is fine and will certainly do no harm if you follow our advice.

Of course, regular check ups will help us to monitor your oral health and check for any hard to reach isolated areas of the mouth that may have early signs of gum disease. This can then be treated before it becomes a problem.

If you live in the Bromley area and have not had a check up in the past six months or so, why not call the Smile Dental Practice on 020 8462 2473 and arrange one today.