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How do I Choose the Best Mouthwash for Gingivitis?

Anna T.
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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If you want to choose the best mouthwash for gingivitis, you may want to look for mouthwash with antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It may also be a good idea to use mint mouthwash because mint can naturally kill the bacteria that causes gingivitis. You can also create your own mouthwash for treating gingivitis out of a mixture of peroxide and baking soda. Most dentists advise avoiding mouthwash that contains lots of alcohol because this can further irritate your gingivitis. If your gingivitis persists after you've tried several different over-the-counter and homemade gingivitis mouthwash remedies, you may need to visit your dentist for a prescription gingivitis mouthwash.

Mouthwash that contains antiseptic properties is typically best for preventing gingivitis. Antiseptic mouthwashes generally contain large amounts of alcohol, and for this reason they may not be good to use on existing gingivitis. Once you have your gingivitis under control, you might want to use antiseptic mouthwash to prevent it from recurring because these mouthwashes can usually kill the bacteria that causes gingivitis. It will probably be necessary for you to use antiseptic mouthwash a few times a day to ensure that it continues to kill the bacteria, because new bacteria tends to form when old bacteria dies.

Antibacterial mouthwash that doesn't contain a great deal of alcohol may be ideal for getting rid of gingivitis. In addition to effectively killing the bacteria that causes gingivitis, antibacterial mouthwashes might also help with problems such as plaque and bad breath. Using mouthwash for gingivitis that contains genuine mint ingredients is also typically helpful. It is important to make sure that the product you purchase contains real mint and not imitation mint. Peppermint and spearmint are two examples of mints that are effective against gingivitis.

If you do not want to purchase over-the-counter gingivitis mouthwash, you can make your own. Mixing up a small amount of peroxide with a few teaspoons of baking soda is generally effective against gingivitis and might also be much less expensive than purchasing over-the-counter mouthwash for gingivitis. Many people find the taste of this mixture unappealing, but it does tend to work well for combating gingivitis. If your gingivitis is getting worse instead of better, you may be at risk of developing periodontal disease. You should see your dentist for prescription mouthwash for gingivitis if the products you are buying or mixing up at home are not helping so that you can decrease the chances that your gingivitis will turn into periodontal disease.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to The Health Board. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By John57 — On Dec 27, 2011

@SarahSon - I have used Plax mouthwash for many years for my gingivitis and plaque. It does seem to help, as there is not as much plaque when I go for my 6 month checkup.

The only disadvantage is that it can be hard to find sometimes. A lot of the stores don't carry it even though they still make it.

If you have trouble finding it locally, you can always order it online. I know some people are allergic to mint or just don't like the taste of mint.

The Plax mouthwash I use is not mint flavored, and I have found that I actually prefer the taste once I got used to it.

By SarahSon — On Dec 26, 2011

I have my teeth cleaned on a regular basis, but even then, have a lot of plaque build up. I am faithful at flossing, and my dentist recommended I use a mouthwash to help deter the plaque building up so quickly.

It seems like most of the mouthwashes are mostly for fresh breath and don't have many medicinal properties.

Are there good mouthwashes that will give me fresh breath and help with the plaque?

By golf07 — On Dec 25, 2011

I am one to always try a home remedy before spending money on a product at the store.

I mixed up some of my own mouthwash using some peroxide and baking soda, but the taste of that just about gagged me.

Maybe I should say the lack of taste. I am used to using baking soda in my toothpaste, but this was a completely different texture.

I knew I was going to have to do something different if I was going to use this. What I ended up doing is adding a few drops of therapeutic grade, peppermint essential oil to the mouthwash.

Because the essential oil was therapeutic grade, it was safe to take internally. A little bit of real mint extract might also do the trick.

Adding the mint taste made all the difference and saved me a lot of money from buying mouthwash on a regular basis.

By Sara007 — On Dec 24, 2011

@manykitties2 - If you are looking at how to get rid of gingivitis I would definitely get a good mouthwash to compliment your regular brushing and flossing routine. You don't really need to buy an in store mouthwash to get the benefits though.

My grandmother taught me to boil two and a half cups of water with a teaspoon of mint leaves, rosemary leaves and anise seeds for 20 minutes. Once this mixture is cooled you can use it for a mouthwash and it will help keep bacteria at bay and make your mouth feel fresh. If you are on a budget making your own personal hygiene products is a good way to go.

By manykitties2 — On Dec 24, 2011

I have been trying to figure out how to get rid gingivitis and am wondering if using something like Scope mouthwash will help?

My dentist told me that my once healthy gums are having issues and I need to start taking better care of my teeth. Apparently gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal gum disease which is pretty freaky to think about. While I have some antibiotics to kill the bacteria in my mouth I know I need to do my part too.

I currently have floss, a new brush, toothpaste and the last thing to get is my mouthwash. I am wondering though if that extra step will really make a difference because it is a bit expensive.

By burcinc — On Dec 23, 2011

@simrin-- Yea, gingivitis is a bacterial infection and if it's not treated it develops into chronic gingivitis and ultimately periodontitis. This is when so much plaque builds up between your gums that it forms pockets of calculus which have to be cleaned by a dentist.

Along with using the right mouthwash, I think it's also important to use it at the right time, that is, before gingivitis develops. Of course, mouthwash helps to treat it, but if it's already chronic, it will also require doctor treatment.

So I agree with you, any mouthwash with antibacterial properties will do. But it should not be extremely strong so that it doesn't irritate the gums.

By SteamLouis — On Dec 22, 2011

I think any mouthwash would work for gingivitis as long as it has antibacterial properties. It will definitely work to help prevent it.

As far as I know, gingivitis is a bacterial infection so there is no use of using mouth hygiene products if it doesn't kill bacteria. I personally use an over-the-counter mouthwash that is specifically labeled for gingivitis treatment. I don't really understand the various ingredients in the different mouthwash brands so I figured that this is the best way to make sure I'm using something that will work.

During my last visit, my dentist said that I don't have gingivitis so I guess it's working.

By turquoise — On Dec 22, 2011

@jennythelib-- I'm also afraid of gingivitis. Most people don't take it very seriously, but it can be a dangerous condition if it's not taken care of.

I saw a doctor talk about mouthwash on TV the other day and he said that some doctors are now suspecting a possible link between mouth tumors and regular use of mouthwash. Of course nothing has been proven yet but this still makes me worry about using store-bought mouthwash daily.

I think the best mouthwash is warm water with salt. Salt has antiseptic properties and it can kill bacteria and germs just as well as alcohol can. This is what I'm using now in addition to brushing and flossing regularly. If you don't want to use this though, I'm sure homemade hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is a good alternative as well, like the article suggested.

By jennythelib — On Dec 21, 2011

Gingivitis is *definitely* one of those things that you need to stay on top of. A friend of mine had no health or dental insurance for a while after college, like a lot of young adults, so she just did without. Not the best idea!

She unexpectedly became pregnant. Her income was low enough that at that point she qualified for Medicaid. She was able to get into a prenatal clinic right away, but it took her two months to find a dentist who would take Medicaid.

When she finally did, they told her that she had developed periodontitis and she was at risk for delivering her baby prematurely! Apparently, it's not clear why this should be, but it's just one more reason why *everyone* should take care of their general health! Most babies are actually unplanned, so you can't just assume you'll get yourself in order before you conceive.

Fortunately, the dentist was able to treat her periodontal disease and she did carry to term with good prenatal care. She is a dedicated flosser, Listerine user, and electric toothbrush devote now!

By robbie21 — On Dec 21, 2011

Choosing the right mouthwash is definitely important, but so is flossing first! My dentist told me that flossing gets bacteria out from between the teeth where Listerine or other mouthwash can kill it. (My case of gingivitis was very mild and mostly due to my not having visited the dentist for a couple of year, so perhaps she would not have recommended Listerine had I had a more advanced case.)

I don't have any trouble using regular dental floss, but my husband can't get his fingers far enough in his mouth. Apparently, that's really common for men. Instead of those disposable flossers you can buy, our dentist recommended the Reach Access flosser. It consists of a reusable portion that is shaped more or less like a toothbrush handle and a replaceable flosser head. My husband finds that the angle of the Reach Access is more natural than you get with the disposable flossers, too.

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to The Health Board. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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