Did you know that all people often use hydrogen peroxide mouthwash before starting treatment? Most dentists recommend this to reduce bacterial and viral load that aerosols could distribute during your dental procedure.
Many dentists also recommend switching to a peroxide mouthwash as your regular mouthwash. This helps protect your mouth from bacteria. The key to safely gargling using hydrogen peroxide is to make sure you never swallow it.
Many people use it as a mouthwash because it is a powerful disinfectant. As a result, it keeps your canker sores and mouth wounds from becoming infected, promoting faster healing.
One important thing to note before you think about using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse. When you say HP solution, it refers to a solution having more than 3% concentration. So you should always dilute it further with water before using it.
You should learn more about the properties of hydrogen peroxide to use it in your daily oral care.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical with mild antiseptic properties used on your skin to prevent the infection of minor cuts, burns, and scrapes. Many have started using it as a mouth rinse to remove mucus or alleviate mouth irritation due to gingivitis and sores in recent years. However, if you use it every day, and frequently it can impact your overall health.
HP is basically an oxidizing agent that has disinfectant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It has mild antiseptic properties and hence has various household uses, including preventing infection in minor burns and cuts.
HP is a chemical compound consisting of hydrogen and oxygen molecules. You can easily buy it at most drug stores and use it for cleansing activities like bathtubs and counters and also for disinfecting wounds.
Some people even use it for gargling to whiten teeth, reduce gum inflammation, and soothe a sore throat. You can safely gargle with HP, and it works wonders.
Remember to use it in diluted form else, it may burn your skin and should never be swallowed.
Health Benefits of Gargling With Hydrogen Peroxide
Have you read about the several benefits of using HP as a mouth rinse?
1 Treating gum disease
Hydrogen peroxide’s antibacterial properties help treat gum disease and improve your oral health. A study found that HP made participants’ gums healthier and reduced amounts of the periodontal pathogen. These pathogens are primarily responsible for causing gingivitis.
Plaque commonly found in your mouth is a slimy film of bacteria known as a biofilm. Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen that helps destroy these bacteria.
According to a 2017 study, individuals who use hydrogen peroxide had fewer gum disease signs than the others.
One most significant advantages of gargling with this solution is that it can reach your mouth’s back and spots that may be hard to reach with your regular brush and dental floss.
2 Whitening teeth
The chemical is a type of bleaching agent. In fact, many of your toothpaste and mouthwash stores already contain this compound.
In one study, researchers investigated that HP mouthwashes could whiten teeth more effectively. The study results also indicated if used for longer periods, hydrogen peroxide mouthwashes can increase the whiteness of your teeth.
In fact, HP is the main active ingredient found in most of the over-the-counter and professional teeth-whitening products commonly used by dentists. As a home remedy gargling it can make your teeth look whiter for a while. A 2015 study found that Hydrogen peroxide mouthwashes need to be used consistently to produce a lasting effect.
3 Soothing sore throats
Peroxide’s antibacterial properties can help your body fight infections that cause sore throats. It is also helpful in loosening the hardened or thick mucus. This loosening helps the mucus to drain easily, relieving irritation and pain.
When the mucus in your mouth comes into contact with peroxide, it creates a foam. This foam makes your mucus less sticky thus helping to drain it out.
Especially for adults and young children who have a hard time gargling without swallowing, they can try other alternatives. You can try gargling with warm salt water for similar benefits.
For salt water gargling, mix a tablespoon of salt in one cup of water. Swish this saltwater mixture in your mouth for about 60 seconds, then spit it out.
4 Healing canker sores
As you know, hydrogen peroxide is antiseptic, which can help to heal canker sores and even cuts. After applying it to a cut or sore, the solution foams and releases oxygen. This foam helps to clean the area by reducing bacteria.
5 Reducing the spread of COVID
Peroxide is also very effective in reducing the spread of Covid-19 from dentists to patients. Ongoing studies have confirmed the efficacy of peroxide as it can limit your dentists’ exposure to COVID from their patients.
Risks of Using Hydrogen Peroxide Mouth Rinse
- Very harmful when ingested: Swallowing or intaking too much of the HP solution can cause serious side effects. It can not only burn your digestive tract but cause nausea and vomiting.
- Weakened enamel: HP is very dangerous and can damage your tooth enamel if you use it too often in too high concentrations.
How to Safely Gargle With Hydrogen Peroxide?
Before you start gargling with HP, your dentist will recommend mixing water with a 3% HP to obtain a 1% solution. It has been experimented that this concentration of hydrogen peroxide is no longer carcinogenic.
Rinsing your mouth will make you feel better after you use it as a mouth rinse. However, note that it will not clean your teeth as brushing does. Your dentist will never recommend peroxide for bleaching your teeth or to deal with sore teeth, gums or tooth decay. You need to be extra careful while using it as too much solution can turn your tongue black.
According to a dentist, if you use peroxide with regular brushing and flossing can drastically reduce gum inflammation. It can also help in whitening your teeth, but using it daily can negatively impact your dental health. In fact, doctors recommend limiting the use of peroxide to just a few times a month.
Most of the dentists are of the opinion that you could use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinses:
- But peroxide is not recommended for teeth whitening.
- You should not use it as a mouth rinse in concentrations of more than 3%.
- The solution can rescue levels of bacteria in your mouth.
- You should NEVER swallow hydrogen peroxide accidentally.
- HP can temporarily help with gingivitis and gum inflammation.
- HP can also help soothe your sore throat.
How Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mouthwash?
So the most important question is how, should you use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash for better oral hygiene?
The key to safely gargling using HP is to make sure you never swallow it. This rule holds good whether you are using 3% peroxide or 35% “food grade” hydrogen peroxide.
- Take one part of the 3% peroxide solution and mix it with two parts of water. This is the strength of the solution you will find in a brown bottle at most drug stores. But in a scenario you buy 1% solution, you no longer need to dilute it.
- Do not use peroxide daily and use it for short periods of time. And only try using it if you have inflamed gums or a sore throat.
- Take a small mouthful of the solution and gargle by tilting your head backward. Make sure you never swallow it. Gargle and swish the mixture around your whole mouth for 30- 60 seconds.
- Spit the solution out after you have finished gargling. Do not try to gargle for more than 90 seconds, as it might be harmful.
What are Dentists Saying?
It is indeed interesting to know that all dentists do not agree on the safety of hydrogen peroxide. Some dentists believe that 1% hydrogen peroxide solution is an excellent antibacterial agent, but it should not be used too often.
The primary reason being the solution can penetrate your enamel, dentin, and finally, the collagen-rich tissue situated within the dentin, damaging it at the end. Some dentists also do not recommend peroxide rinses for whitening teeth. This is because of high concentrations, which could harm your oral mucosa.
Higher concentrations should only be used for professional dental use because your gums are protected with hardening resins or a liquid rubber dam during dental procedures. Your dentist knows the right concentration of the solution to use.
However, few dentists agree that a HP mouthwash can indeed reduce bacterial growth. Other dentists are of the opinion that peroxide lowers your level of bacteria in the mouth for a while. This is the primary reason especially during the COVID pandemic, dentists suggested their patients to gargle with a peroxide mouth rinse prior to going in for dental treatment.
As you have seen, there are numerous benefits of hydrogen peroxide solution. And you have also learned how peroxide can have different dental usages. It can be effective in killing bacteria to help soothe sore throats and oral infections.
Gargling hydrogen peroxide effectively solves many dental and oral problems like disinfecting your mouth, soothing your sore throat, and whitening your teeth. Dilute the solution first before use and try not to swallow it while gargling. If you desire to whiten your teeth using peroxide, try to gargle consistently for a few months for optimum results.