Mouthwash Effective Against Bad Breath, Plaque & Gum Problems?

After every meal, it is a good habit to brush our teeth to remove left-over food bits and prevent cavities or tooth decay. I still remember the advertisement “Brushing is not enough, take mouthwash (I forgot the brand)”. It is also claimed the mouthwash kill germs that cause bad breath, plaque and the gum infection gingivitis.

Lately, I been experiencing swollen gum (I was never sure if it was gingivitis)and mouth sores(singaw in tagalog) even though I am brushing my teeth on a regular basis. These often gone normally after few days but it keep on coming after two to three weeks. Maybe brushing was not enough so I started to gurgle a mouth wash after brushing. Then the swelling gum and mouth sores never occurred again.

Even though my gum problems gone away, I still cannot guarantee its effectiveness. According to regulatory agencies, a claimed should be supported by evidence, trials and thorough studies. Some claims about mouthwash caught the attention of US FDA.

The FDA today issued warning letters to three companies that manufacture and market mouth rinse products with claims that they remove plaque above the gum line or promote healthy gums. These claims suggest the products are effective in preventing gum disease when no such benefit has been demonstrated.

Warning letters were sent to, Johnson & Johnson (Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash), CVS Corporation (CVS Complete Care Anticavity Mouthwash), and Walgreen Company (Walgreen Mouth Rinse Full Action).

These mouth rinse products contain the active ingredient sodium fluoride. The FDA has determined that sodium fluoride is effective in preventing cavities but has not found this ingredient to be effective in removing plaque or preventing gum disease. more…


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