As you might have guessed, natural mouthwash is mouthwash prepared with natural ingredients. Switching to a natural mouthwash in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing is a great way to fight and prevent oral bacteria while achieving optimal oral health and hygiene.
In a market that’s dominated by big brands using synthetic additives, many of the long-term health effects of these relatively new substances such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and triclosan are still unknown. A natural mouthwash uses two powerful main ingredients; pure essential oils and xylitol, among many other natural compounds.
Essential oils are compounds extracted from different components of plants, including roots, stems, leaves, flowers or fruits. The most common essential oils used in natural mouthwashes are spearmint, peppermint and lavender, which have shown to be beneficial not only for oral health, but general health as well.
Xylitol is somewhat of a sugar-substitute. Its structure allows it to stimulate your taste receptors, giving off a sweet flavor. So what does that have to do with oral hygiene? Well, bacteria in the oral cavity ingest xylitol into their cell-cycle. Xylitol is then converted into xylitol-5-phosphate via enzyme Phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). This new metabolite formed results in development of intracellular vacuoles. Vacuoles release hydrolytic enzymes which ultimately lead to bacterial cell-membrane degradation, which then contributes to its own death.
Medications, medical conditions, and even brushing habits can cause oral sensitivity. When the mouth is particularly susceptible, opting for a gentler solution such as fluoride-free toothpaste or alcohol-free mouthwash can prevent further discomfort.
Substances like alcohol, triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate are harsh on oral tissue, particularly for those with an already compromised immune system. For example, diabetics, patients undergoing chemotherapy, and arthritis sufferers are more prone to developing gum disease and experiencing oral cavity irritation from the prolonged use of synthetic substances found in conventional mouthwash. Switching to an alcohol-free mouthwash will prevent any uncomfortable and unnecessary side effects. There is also some controversy over whether or not alcohol-containing mouthwash causes oral cancer. While this has never been proven nor disproven, it can be a deciding factor for you the next time you’re in the supermarket and are looking for mouthwash.
As mentioned above, natural mouthwash is made using natural ingredients. Depending on what ingredients are found in the mouthwash of your choice, the antibacterial properties of these ingredients can be powerful. The use of things like essential oils, xylitol, zinc, aloe vera, coconut oil, and now even CBD has been shown to be highly effective in preventing periodontitis. The new kid on the block is CBD and hemp, and it's surprising that it has taken so long for it to show up in dental products. CBD boasts antiseptic, analgesic and antibacterial properties that help to soothe wounds, slow the growth of microorganisms and other bacteria. With the addition of CBD to the already powerful list of natural ingredients, natural mouthwash makes a strong case against commercial mouthwash.
Whether you choose to use natural or conventional mouthwash, dentists highly recommend doing so to help kill bacteria in your mouth that may lead to gum disease or cavities. Mouthwash should never be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing; however, it’s a fantastic supplement to these things. Pairing your natural mouthwash with a natural toothpaste is sure to be a winning combination.