Your mouth has it’s own ecosystem that includes up to 1000 types of bacteria, enzymes for digestion, proteins that feed the bacteria, and more. The microbes work in a fine balance with your gut microbes and immune system to keep you well. Using a mouthwash that “kills 99% of germs” means that you are killing off this ecosystem that is designed to keep you healthy.
These common conventional mouthwash ingredients kill off both good and bad bacteria:
- Hydrogen peroxide, which can also kill the cells inside your teeth.
- Chlorhexidine, which also stains teeth, increases tartar and alters taste perception.
- Hexetidine, which is linked to unstable heartbeat and allergic reactions.
- Triclosan, which can lower thyroid hormones and is linked with cancer and fertility issues.
Bad breath or bleeding gums are indication of a system out of balance. There is an overgrowth of particular harmful bacteria that like to burrow into your gums to find iron in your blood to feed on and they can make your gums bleed.
The best way to stop this overgrowth is to support the helpful bacteria with oral probiotics. Strains like Lactobacillus Salivarius and Streptococcus Salivarius improve bad breath, reduce plaque and support healthy teeth and gums. Here’s one chewable probiotic that can help.
These are some other common ingredients in commercial mouthwash that can impact our health in a negative way:
- Artificial dyes, which can stain your teeth and are toxins so put strain on the liver.
- Methylparaben, which is an endocrine disrupter.
- Sodium benzoate, which is also an endocrine disrupter.
It is also important for oral health to make sure you take care of your gut health, keep inflammation at bay and keep your nutrient levels are strong. Let us know if you need help to see where you could improve things.
Other alternatives to conventional mouthwash are:
Oil Pulling - Swish coconut oil or olive oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes and then spit it out.
Homemade mouthwash – I have been tweaking my recipe for taste and have arrived at this combination. For safety, it’s important to use only very high-grade essential oils.
- 12oz water
- 7 drops peppermint oil
- 5 drops melaleuca oil
- 3 drops cinnamon oil
- 1/8 tsp sea salt.
As always, please share your thoughts and experiences with us. We love to hear from you!