Commercial Mouthwash: Not Something You Want In Your Mouth

Not Something You Want In Your Mouth

You may recall that TV ad where a woman’s teeth fall out of her mouth into her hands.  

Of course it’s a bad dream.  

Then, as she brushes her teeth, blood pours out of her mouth. 

The ad for Corsodyl mouthwash was designed to shock you into action through blatant scaremongering.

The tagline was “Because losing a tooth in real-life is worse than a bad dream.”

Corsodyl, the brainchild of GlaxoSmithKline, promises to wrestle gum disease and soothe mouth ulcers. But here’s the kicker: it contains the tongue-twister chemical, chlorhexidine digluconate.

Now, chlorhexidine digluconate has quite the rap sheet. It’s been associated with heart issues and, believe it or not, a delightful shade of brown staining for your teeth after prolonged use. Brown teeth is not exactly the smile we’re aiming for, Corsodyl.

I’d suggest you use curcumin instead. No risk.

In 2011, a  verdict of ‘death by medical misadventure’ was recorded at Brighton County Court after a patient died from anaphylactic shock after using Corsodyl mouthwash administered to herin a dental practice.   


In January 2014 the UK’s Daily Mail wrote:  

“Using mouthwash is a ‘disaster’ for health, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, scientists are warning. Swilling kills off ‘good’ bacteria that help blood vessels relax – so increasing blood pressure. When healthy volunteers used Corsodyl, a brand containing a powerful antiseptic, their blood pressure rose within hours.” Professor Amrita Ahluwalia, who led the study, last night condemned the widespread use of antiseptic mouthwash when small rises in blood pressure have significant impact on morbidity and mortality from heart disease and stroke.


Avoiding Bad Breath

Although not necessarily a remedy for teeth and gums, probiotics  can work wonders for the bacterial balance of your mouth.  The bacteria Streptococcus Mutans is a significant contributor to bad breath. 

Supplementing with probiotics helps keep your gut as well as your mouth healthy. If you genuinely need some extra help, oral probiotic rinses are available too.  

Probiotics such as Acidophilus and Bifidus create a healthy biofilm that surrounds the tooth, protecting it.  When that biofilm breaks down you can become addicted to the substances that caused the breakdown, usually antibiotics.  

What is it that bursts your biofilm’s bubble? Those store-bought mouthwashes and synthetic toothpastes! They’re like the bullies at the oral playground.

With bad breath you have to look for and tackle the cause of the problem, not just mask it with mouthwash. The tongue’s bacterial bonanza is a top culprit for the infamous “dragon breath”. 

Daily tongue scraping can be invaluable in this fight. But if the whiff persists, your intestines might be staging a slowdown (time for a deep colon cleanse). And, believe it or not, your smelly armpits might be the encore.

With bad breath, build-up of bacteria on the tongue is a major contributor so you have to eliminate the cause rather than mask it daily with questionable mouthwash.

In the meantime take some probiotics daily – foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut, pineapple and mango and drink pure water. The bacteria in fermented foods help suppress the growth of plaque and gingivitis causing pathogens in the mouth.

Although unlikely, there’s a chance you have tonsil stones. Ask your Dental Hygienist to determine whether this is the case.

Lemon juice diluted with some water will go a long way to destroying bad breath but remember not to use it too often as the acidity of lemon juice can damage tooth enamel.

Basil leaves  chew 2 or 3 of these every day to freshen and disinfect the mouth. Basil has astringent properties that help ‘tighten’ the gums and destroy the bacteria that are responsible for plaque and bad breath.  Either chew the leaves, add them to water and use as a mouth rinse or chop the leaves into  tiny pieces and include this in your home made toothpaste.

Cardamom seeds  Indisputably one of the healthiest herbs on our planet, cardamom has been a popular remedy in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Referred to as the “Queen of Spices”, the pods are commonly chewed in India to freshen breath, stimulate saliva flow and prevent cavity development. One ingredient, cineole, is a powerful antiseptic that targets the bacteria causing bad breath.  For this reason alone cardamom is often used to flavour chewing gums.  Rich in phytonutrients, manganese (good for bones) and Vitamin C, cardamom helps to stop bleeding gums.

Cloves are the best known of all toothache remedies. It has remarkable anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties that help reduce harmful ’bad bugs’ that cause gum swellings.   If you suffer from mouth ulcers I’d recommend taking a whole clove and popping it into your mouth, close to the ulcer.  After a short while you’ll feel a numbing effect. Cloves are better for dealing with bad breath than any commercial mouthwash I know of.  I’ll add the precaution here that if you’re on any medication for blood clotting, speak with your doctor first.         

Hemp Oil/Hemp Seed Oil  Hemp oil helps with bad breath as well as any sensitivity in your teeth and gums. An alternative to coconut oil for oil pulling this process can strengthen your teeth, heal bleeding gums and prevent gingivitis and bad breath. I often add a teaspoon of hemp seed oil to my juices in the mornings. 

Nutmeg & Mace    With strong antibacterial properties nutmeg and mace have long been used in cooking as well as for medical benefits. The oils of both have been used to relieve bad breath, toothaches, mouth sores as well as that old favourite, flatulence.

Peppermint    If you’re concerned about your breath, carry around a small spray bottle of food-grade peppermint oil. A single spray into our mouth is so much more effective than chewing gum, without the side effects.  (Many chewing gums these days – including Xylitol – contain GMO ingredients). Add peppermint leaves to hot water and allow them to steep for a few minutes.  Rinse your mouth thoroughly with this and spit out.

Dr Elmar Jung

Dr. Elmar Jung
Dr. Elmar Jung Dental Clinic
4 replies
  1. Andre Ozanne
    Andre Ozanne says:

    Hi Dr. Elmar , Thanks for this blog really helpful and interesting , do you have an opinion about gargaling Ozonated water? with regards Andre


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