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Your Oral Health

Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse

Antimicrobial mouth rinses are much more powerful than over-the-counter mouthwashes, reducing certain bacteria that cause gum disease to an almost undetectable level. The most commonly prescribed is Chlorhexidine, and your dentist can recommend how to use it as part of your treatment regimen.

What is an Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse?

Your everyday over-the-counter mouthwashes are the mildest form of antimicrobials, meaning that they can reduce the number of microbes or bacteria in the mouth. Certain bacteria are contributing factors for both tooth decay and gum disease. Chlorhexidine is the most often prescribed oral mouth rinse, used to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. Used as directed by your dentist, Chlorhexidine can reduce certain gum disease-causing bacteria to an almost undetectable level. And in some cases your dentist may also prescribe an oral antibiotic or locally applied chemotherapeutic to help further reduce other bacteria causing your gum disease. Studies have shown that combinations of antibiotics, chemotherapeutics, and Chlorhexidine can reduce the need for periodontal surgery by upwards of 80%.

Why is an Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse Beneficial? 

If you have had a deep cleaning recently, or been diagnosed with early, moderate, or advanced periodontal disease, then an antimicrobial mouth rinse might be beneficial for you. An antimicrobial mouth rinse like Chlorhexidine is recommended to help control plaque and kill the bacteria that contribute to gum disease.  

How Do I Use the Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse?

Different regimens may be suggested by your dentist based upon your level of gum disease and your ability to control the factors causing the disease. As with all medications, it is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations which may include more frequent brushing and flossing in addition to the mouth rinse and certain antibiotics. Chlorhexidine has proven most effective when left in contact with your gums overnight. Your dentist may recommend that you do not eat, drink, or brush after rinsing with Chlorhexidine.  

Who Should Get an Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse?

If your dentist diagnoses moderate to severe periodontal disease and performs a scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning), then you may benefit from Chlorhexidine. Check with your dentist to see if Chlorhexidine antimicrobial mouth rinse may be right for you.