Dental Care

Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse

Learn about the benefits of an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Gum disease is a term that is often thrown around lightly, but it is extremely serious and problematic.

It begins mildly enough with the development of plaque on the teeth and at the gum line.

It advances into a condition known as gingivitis, which sees the plaque along the gums converted into a much harder substance known as tartar.

The combination of tartar and plaque leads to irritation in the gums, but it can also cause bacteria and toxins to be trapped in the gums as well. This leads to swelling and infection.

Over time, this turns into gum or periodontal disease, which is the underlying cause for bleeding gums, bad breath, tooth decay, abscesses and tooth loss.

Loss of Teeth

In the modern era most people understand the seriousness of gum disease, and most understand that it is a problem that can lead, ultimately, to the loss of a permanent tooth.

While many people might come to the conclusion that a missing tooth is “no big deal”, it is actually a very serious concern.

Why is that? When we lose even a single adult tooth, we weaken the strength of the jaw, we allow the neighboring teeth to move and shift our original bite pattern, and we open up the body to the health risks of gum disease.

This means that someone who lets gum disease go unchecked might have to face such costly procedures as dental implants, tooth straightening, and more.

They will also have to consider the financial and health costs associated with rampant gum disease too.

Health Concerns and Treatments

How can gum problems have an impact on the health of the individual? There are many studies that have connected the presence of chronic oral bacterial infections to an increase in the risks of heart disease and stroke. These bacterial issues are also tied to diabetes, low birth weight in babies, and even blood infections too!

Clearly, this illustrates the need for good oral hygiene, but it also indicates that any additional or supplemental treatments are fairly important too.

One of the best of the supplemental options is an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Before you say that a bottle of mouth wash is hardly a weapon with which to combat such an array of health issues, you should understand that an antimicrobial mouth rinse is far different from an over the counter mouth wash.

If you grab that big bottle of bright blue or green mouthwash that you use each morning and night, you would see a somewhat standardized list of ingredients.

Few of them would be able to actually reduce or attack the worst of the oral bacteria, instead they tend to reduce the number of these microbes inside of the mouth for a short period of time. This is why they need to be used a few times each day.

Special Mouth Treatment

When you get an antimicrobial mouth rinse, it is a prescription strength substance that is usually capable of reducing some of the worst of the oral bacteria to nearly undetectable levels.

This means that if you did a scientific study of the effects of the over the counter mouth wash versus the antimicrobial mouth rinse, it would look something like this.

The patient would brush their teeth and rinse with the mouth wash one morning. A swab of the mouth would be done to test the levels of bacteria present a few hours later.

The next day they would repeat the process, except they would use the antimicrobial mouth rinse instead.

This could be repeated several times, and the data would show that the swabs taken on the days of antimicrobial mouth rinse would have a dramatically reduced bacterial count.

As Part of Dental Treatment

Why is this such a great thing to use antimicrobial mouth rinse? Usually, a patient is prescribed one of the rinses immediately after a professional cleaning if the dental hygienist noticed the sings of early to advanced gum disease, and removed as much of the plaque and tartar as possible.

In order to prevent the immediate redevelopment of these substances, however, the hygienist would have provided the patient with the antimicrobial rinse to be used twice each day after cleaning the teeth.

This would keep bacteria to extremely low levels and help to reduce the spread of gum disease.

It would also improve any problems with bad breath as well because it is the bacteria that cause the odor to develop within the mouth.

Proper Use

How is one of the antimicrobial rinses actually used? These require a range of different protocols based on the condition of the individual’s gums and teeth.

Generally, the best way to get the benefits of the rinses is to allow the compounds to remain against the gums and teeth overnight, or for several hours after use.

This means that most patients will be instructed to floss and clean their teeth every night, and then to swish the antimicrobial rinse around the interior of their mouth for roughly two minutes.

They will then spit out the rinse and avoid any further consumption of food or beverages for the rest of the night. This allows the compounds to kill off the colonizing bacteria.

If a patient decides to do the rinse in the morning as well, they must be sure to clean and floss the teeth, rinse as normal, and avoid even a sip of water or coffee for at least two to four hours afterward.

Gum Disease Treatment

At what point in the advancement of gum disease should a dentist prescribe the antimicrobial mouth rinse? Generally, someone with moderate to severe gum disease is an ideal patient for this sort of treatment.

The first time most people receive their prescriptions for antimicrobial mouth rinse is following the deepest cleaning treatment possible.

The root planning and scaling treatments that seek to eliminate bacteria well beneath the gum line are normally also the time when the rinses are given.

This is because the tissue in the mouth has been freed of bacteria and microbe accumulation, and the compounds will have their best and most enduring effects if used at such a time.

They are also very effective when someone has had a basic cleaning as well.


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