First, it is important to mention that gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. This bacteria is called plaque and is the main contributor to gum disease. When plaque builds up, the gums become inflamed and red, inevitably leading to an advanced disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis is then exacerbated by the continuation of plaque buildup eventually causing tooth decay and deterioration as well as other dental issues that are not easily resolvable.
It is also important to understand the role of saliva in the mouth when asking whether mouthwash with alcohol can be effective at treating gum disease. Saliva is able to not only break down the food that we eat everyday, but also destroy harmful bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria that saliva is able to dissolve will eventually become plaque if not broken up, so it plays a vital role in the fight against gum disease.
So What About Alcohol in Mouthwash?
Alcohol in general has been proven to dry the mouth out, and it is a common misconception that the alcohol in mouthwash is what destroys the bacteria. The alcohol is actually a solvent to carry ingredients that flavor or change the feeling of the mouthwash and does not promote oral hygiene. We also know that alcohol, both in beverages and mouthwashes, can dry the mouth out. If this is case, sufferers of gum disease are better off using non-alcoholic mouthwash as to not dry out their mouth, which would cause an environment which promote bacterial growth and may lead to gum disease.
We believe with a good oral hygiene, flossing and brushing at least twice a day, using a non-alcoholic mouthwash can be an effective way to fight gum disease. Alongside this regimen of healthy dental care, we also recommend visiting our office twice a year for a routine teeth cleaning. If you have more questions or concerns, please feel free to call our office for more information. We will be happy to help with any questions you may have.