Many of my patients ask this question – Should I use mouth rinses daily?  I am always happy to shed light on this matter.

I note that Television adverts promote antibacterial mouth rinses as a necessary addition to your daily mouth care. I am curious about these advertisements because there is no evidence that such a practice is good for your health.

But surely killing bacteria is always a good thing, I hear you say. After all, these bacteria cause disease. So let’s kill them all, right?

Well, that is not actually true. Neither is it accurate. Bacteria or more correctly microorganisms have a very real and important role in maintaining balance in a healthy body environment. So the normal healthy balance of bacteria in the ‘inner environment’ is a contribution to your health.

When the system is out of balance, a change may occur which can allow an overgrowth of certain species that can result in symptoms. Sometimes the environment is changed in such a way that the growth of unhealthy bacterial species can gain hold. In these circumstances, it may be appropriate to use and antibacterial agents in the attempt to bring the system back into balance.

It is not appropriate to kill all the bacteria in the mouth on a daily basis because it destroys the normal healthy balance of bacteria in the system. Doing this every day indeed is the creation of a chemically induced altered environment. There is nothing natural or healthy about such a practice. There is no evidence to support this practice at all.

Indeed, the evidence would suggest that destroying the environment in this way is likely to induce an unhealthy environment and likely lead to the growth of new and possibly uncontrollable species of bacteria.

Your Take Home Message is:

  1. Do not use chemicals in the body unless there is a very real need to treat a certain condition and only where that condition is not controllable is any other way
  2. Only use such a chemical for the shortest possible time
  3. Use a focussed mechanical method to deal with problem bacteria (similar to weeding your flowerbed)
  4. If problems persist consult with your dentist to try to identify the cause and direct the focus there.

To your health,

Philip.

Contact me at [email protected] for more information or to discuss other difficulties.

Nest time we will look at why Brushing can damage your dental health!