oa SA Pharmacist's Assistant - Mouthwashes and gargles : oral health

Volume 15, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1608-9634
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1068



A variety of mouthwashes and gargles are commercially available. Although cosmetic mouthwashes may have the ability to temporarily control or reduce bad breath, and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste, they don't kill the bacteria causing the bad breath. Neither do they help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities or chemically inactivate odour-causing compounds.

Therapeutic mouthwashes may be used as part of an oral treatment regime, i.e. to treat infection, prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), reduce inflammation, relieve pain, reduce halitosis and freshen the breath, or to deliver fluoride locally for caries prevention. These mouthwashes can also be used to help reduce plaque, decrease the speed with which tartar forms on the teeth and to control tooth decay.

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