For most of the people, rinsing with mouthwash represents part of their daily routine. All of us know how important the oral care is, but sometimes, too much mouthwash can do more harm than good. Listerine and many other famous brands of mouthwashes which contain alcohol can increase the potential of oral cancer development. Approximately, 48,000 Americans have been diagnosed with oral cancer annually and 640,000 people globally. Oral cancer can occur on the gums and the cheeks, on the tongue, or on the floor of the mouth.
Each time you gargle hoping for having a fresh breath, remember than most mouthwashes besides alcohol, contain a lot of other chemicals that might put your oral health at risk. Here is a list of chemicals which can be found in the composition of your minty rinse:
- Chlorhexidine: It is believed that this chemical causes increased blood pressure when used as a mouthwash. Using mouthwash two times a day might worsen the heart condition as well. This chemical kills all the good bacteria in the body responsible for the relaxation of the blood vessels.
- Alcohol: This chemical dries out the mucous membranes which can be found in the mouth and it can reduce saliva as well, thus causing bad breath. Alcohol can change the pH of the throat and mouth. The Australian Dental Journal found out sufficient amount of evidence showing that alcohol can boost the risk of development of neck, head, and oral cancers.
- Hexetidine (oraldene): If you ingest too much of this chemical, it might cause clotting in those parts of the brain which control the neural and sensory functions. At the same time, it might cause degradation in these parts of the brain. Oraldene may cause unstable heartbeat as well, and some allergic reactions, and it’s often considered as carcinogenic.
- Methyl Salicylate: Only 1 tbsp of this chemical equals to more than 23,300 mg aspirin pills. If you overdose, it might lead to loss of vision, kidney failure, low blood pressure, convulsions, difficulty breathing, vomiting and etc.
- Methylparaben: Methylparaben can be commonly found in the breast cancer tissues. It’s used in women’s cosmetics like deodorants and skin creams, and in mouthwashes as well. Many studies proved that it might accelerate the growth of tumors or increase the potential of breast cancer development.
Green Tea and Plaque Removal
However, there is some good news! A new, home-made, natural, and cheaper form of mouthwash can sit somewhere inside the cupboards of your kitchen.
In a study where 80 participants were obliged to change their diet by including more fruits, veggies, potatoes, grains, beans, peas, lentils, and water in it, it was found that eating healthier food strengthened the oral health of the participants.
Although all of us was told to stay away from the sugary food because it causes rotten teeth, nowadays scientists claim that there are some other foods that impact our oral health too. Rinsing with green tea stops the growth of the teeth plaque within several minutes. After you have finished with the green tea, you need only 7 minutes to eliminate the harmful plaque bacteria on your teeth.
In comparison with the chlorhexidine, researchers found out that green tea actually worked better in the plaque elimination than the chemical itself. Moreover, the green tea doesn’t contain all those harmful ingredients. It’s definitely the safer choice when it comes to the oral health.