People are only just realising why their mouth burns when using mouthwash – and it’s not good

By Staff 6 Min Read

If you experience a burning or stinging sensation when you use mouthwash it’s not a good sign claims one dentist – and this is what’s causing the sensation in your mouth

We all know how important oral hygiene is – but do you know why your mouth burns from mouthwash?

Mouthwash is a crucial step when it comes to cleaning your teeth and keeping your mouth and gums healthy, but you may notice a burning sensation when using it. Now people are only just realising why this happens – and it’s not good.

Enduring 30 seconds of stinging or burning while rinsing your mouth may not be a good thing, and it might highlight you need to use something a little less aggressive says Dr Deepa Vakil, Lead Dentist and Clinical Director of Yor Dental.

According to the Huffington Post, Vakil said: “Mouthwash can be detrimental to oral health for a few reasons. Some contain alcohol, which can dry out the mouth and reduce saliva production, leading to bad breath and a higher risk of cavities.” She warned that these harsh ingredients can further irritate gums, and could lead to inflammation or damage to the gums over a prolonged time.

She stated it can also “disrupt” the natural balance of your oral microbiome – which is “essential for keeping harmful bacteria in check”. The expert advised people to choose a mouthwash without alcohol and something with “gentler ingredients”.

There are a few reasons why you may experience the burning sensation, and according to Vakil, these can be because of the alcohol content, antiseptic agents, or essential oils that are all commonly found in most mouthwash products. While they all kill bacteria, they can cause “irritation” and “inflammation” which causes an uncomfortable sensation.

The dentist urged people who suffer from dry mouth (Xerostomia), and oral irritation (cuts, sores or other forms of irritation) to avoid using mouthwash as it could worsen the irritation. She also stated: “Frequent use of antiseptic mouthwashes can disrupt the natural balance of oral bacteria, potentially leading to other oral health issues like oral thrush or increased risk of cavities.”

If you suffer from sensitive oral tissue or struggle with burning or stinging after using mouthwash, Vakil offers some alternatives to mouthwash. She suggested either alcohol-free mouthwash that contains antibacterial agents without the alcohol which can help to “reduce the risk of irritation” or swapping for a natural or herbal mouthwash that contains ingredients such as tea tree oil, aloe vera, or xylitol which are a little gentler.

If you want to avoid mouthwash altogether, saline rinses are also a good alternative. A mixture of warm water and salt can be effective and less likely to cause any irritation.

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