Healthy PicksThe Downsides of Using Alcohol-Based Mouthwash

The Downsides of Using Alcohol-Based Mouthwash

There is no denying that using mouthwash after brushing your teeth can make your mouth feel a lot cleaner and smell a lot fresher. It’s also something that can give you an instant boost of confidence if a toothbrush isn’t within your reach.

Some of the most sought after mouthwashes on the planet are those that contain alcohol. As everyone knows, alcohol is a superb eliminator of bacteria, and that’s why swishing mouthwash that has this antimicrobial agent can help ward off bad breath as well reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease.

However, did you know that experts in dental care say that there are also a number of downsides associated with the use of alcohol-based mouthwashes?

So before you reach for your favorite brand of mouthwash that contains alcohol and start swishing it in your mouth, read on. These are some of the negatives of using alcohol-based mouthwash:

It May Leave Your Breath Smelling Terrible

Most people rely on mouthwashes to save them from the sheer embarrassment that a reeking breath brings. However, experts say that swishing alcohol-based mouthwash in your mouth can actually cause bad breath? That’s because alcohol leaves the mouth dry, which means that less saliva is produced. Your saliva has a number of tasks to carry out, and one of them is to wash off bacteria in your mouth before they cause problems.

It May Actually Prolong the Duration of Canker Sores

Canker sores are some of the most annoying issues concerning the mouth. While it may seem like the use of alcohol-based mouthwash can make them go away in no time, the complete opposite may happen — they may stay around for a much longer period of time. Although very good at zapping microbes, alcohol actually irritates those painful cancer sores, which extends the healing process rather than shorten it as everybody assumes.

It May Cause Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

There are bad bacteria and there are good bacteria. The use of alcohol-based mouthwash is said to zap not only bad breath- and gum disease-causing microbes in the mouth, but also beneficial ones that tend to produce nitric oxide — a gas that causes the blood vessels to widen. With those nitric oxide-producing bacteria out of the picture, you may have a difficult time keeping your blood pressure within the normal range.

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It May Increase Your Risk of Having Oral Cancer

Some studies suggest that the regular use of alcohol-based mouthwash may increase your chance of battling oral cancer. After all, a lot of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer are said to be heavy alcohol drinkers, too. Experts say, however, that more conclusive pieces of evidence are needed to in order to determine whether or not the use of mouthwashes containing alcohol can in fact increase one’s risk of oral cancer.

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All of these are the downsides of using any mouthwash that has alcohol in it. While it may seem like the said product is the perfect companion to the attainment of superb oral health, it can actually cause issues along the way.

So what should a consumer like you do in order to steer clear of the negatives mentioned above without compromising one’s oral hygiene? Go for mouthwash that is absolutely free of alcohol! These days, there are so many alcohol-free mouthwashes on the market. Before you put a particular product in your shopping cart, remember to read the label: if it says “alcohol-free”, then you are free to purchase it.

Consulting your dentist about the matter is also a wonderful idea. He or she is someone who knows your dental record and needs by heart, so it’s just right that you ask for his or her advice when it comes to mouthwash shopping.

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