Is Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash Safe to Use?

Hydrogen Peroxide

Many people have questions about using hydrogen peroxide mouthwash. The biggest concerns surround the fact that hydrogen peroxide has long been used for a variety of things around the house like disinfecting surfaces and cleaning minor injuries.

The idea of putting a strong chemically-based product in your mouth can strike some fear in people who don’t know much about the product.

It’s Safe As An Oral Rinse

Drug stores sell hydrogen peroxide oral rinses and mouthwashes over the counter. These are safe to use regularly. These products are not pure hydrogen peroxide. They only contain between 1.5 percent to 3 percent of the chemicals in the product. Generally, these percentages are safe to use daily.

However, dentists warn not to use a higher concentrated hydrogen peroxide product too often because a high concentration can harm teeth over time. It’s also important not to use a pure form of hydrogen peroxide because the concentration is too strong and can harm teeth.

The concentration in food-grade hydrogen peroxide is 35 percent and that is too strong for a mouth rinse or to gargle. Failure to dilute hydrogen peroxide in using it as a mouthwash or gargling can lead to chemical burns over the mouth and throat. oral tissue irritation, vomiting, and even abdominal pain.

Benefits of Using a Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash

Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant so using a product that includes it can have health benefits. It can reduce the amount of mouth bacteria but also can heal mouth ulcers and gum issues.

A study done in 2015 concluded that hydrogen peroxide products will produce the best effects if used over months so they aren’t a quick fix.

There are four direct benefits of using a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash.

  1. It can treat gum disease.

Hydrogen peroxide kills periodontal pathogens like bacteria. It can remove plaque and work in areas that are difficult to reach.

  1. It can help a sore throat.

As a disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide mouthwash can stop infections that lead to sore throats. It can also loosen mucus so that it drains.

  1. It’s great for canker sores.

Hydrogen peroxide destroys the bacteria in canker sores. It can also prevent the spread of viruses, including the flu and COVID.

  1. It kills fungi.

Several mouth illnesses are fungal-based and hydrogen peroxide kills fungi and yeasts. It contains a mild antiseptic that can help heal irritation problems relating to cankers, dentures, cold sores, and orthodontic appliances.

Risks of Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Dentists have different opinions on how long or often people can use products with hydrogen peroxide without damaging their teeth. Most agree that products with 1 percent of the chemical are safe to use regularly. A concentration of more than 3 percent should never be used as the chemical can penetrate tooth enamel and gum tissue and cause a lot of damage.

One warning dentists have for using hydrogen peroxide, especially when you get it pure and dilute it yourself, is to never swallow it. It can be toxic if swallowed.

Most oral care professionals are uncomfortable with people trying to dilute hydrogen peroxide themselves. Many on the internet ask about it since it is cheap to buy by the bottle. However, it is dangerous to try to get the proper concentration of under 3 percent yourself. It is much safer to buy a product that already has the proper concentration in it. The cost savings aren’t worth the risk.

Never put pure hydrogen peroxide on a mouth sore or other oral issue. Yes, it’s an effective disinfectant and you may think that putting pure hydrogen peroxide on the sore will heal it faster. However, using it in a pure form, even if you are dabbing it, can be toxic as you may accidentally ingest it.

You May Already Have Used It

Most teeth whitening products from strips to trays have some hydrogen peroxide in them. The chemical is a great whitener as well as a disinfectant and is the active ingredient in almost all teeth whitening products both bought at the drug store or used by a dentist in cosmetic teeth whitening.

Those concerned about the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in professional teeth whitening products can ask their dentist about the product their office uses and how safety is guaranteed during professional whitening.

Dentists are well-trained in using these products and offer the most effective and safest teeth whitening experience. The effect will last longer too as a professional whitening treatment will last three years or more.

Do you have questions about mouth sores, teeth stains, or other problems that hydrogen peroxide can treat? We are here to help answer all your concerns. Better yet, book an appointment and let one of our experienced dentists examine your mouth and offer recommendations. Book today!

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