This Is The Surprising Reason Why Your Mouth Burns When You Use Mouthwash


Ever find yourself wincing because of the sting when you rinse your mouth within 30 seconds of brushing your teeth?

Until now, I perhaps shamefully thought that this stinging meant the mouthwash was “working,” and that was something I had to deal with if I wanted fresh, healthy gums.

However, Dr. Deepa Vakil, principal dentist and clinical director at Yor Dental, says this is not necessarily the case, and in fact, if you experience tingling or burning in your mouth when using mouthwash, it may be time to switch to a mouthwash. s things.

Mouthwashes can be harmful to oral health for a number of reasons,” Wakil said. “Some contain alcohol, which can dry out the mouth and reduce saliva production, leading to bad breath and a higher risk of tooth decay.

She warns that harsh ingredients can irritate your gums, which can lead to inflamed or even damaged gums over time. Additionally, mouthwash kills all bacteria (including good bacteria) but disrupts the natural balance of your oral microbiome, which is critical for keeping harmful bacteria in check.

“It's best to choose a mouthwash that's alcohol-free and has milder ingredients to avoid these potential problems,” Wakil says.

Why Mouthwash Can Make Your Mouth Burn

Wakil received:Many mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation in your mouth. Alcohol is a common ingredient in mouthwash because it acts as an antiseptic, but it can irritate sensitive oral tissues, causing a burning sensation.

Dentists recommend mouthwash containing disinfectants such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride, or essential oils such as eucalyptus and thymol. While they do kill bacteria, they can also cause irritation or inflammation in the mouth, leading to a burning sensation.

While some mouthwashes have a better smell and taste due to the essential oils they contain, they can irritate sensitive oral tissues and cause a burning sensation, Wakil said.

When not to use mouthwash

Vakil says that given these potential reasons, she recommends against using mouthwash in specific situations:

  • Dry mouth (xerostomia): Mouthwashes containing alcohol can worsen dry mouth because alcohol has a drying effect.People with dry mouth may find these mouthwashes uncomfortable
  • Oral irritation: If you have cuts, sores, or other forms of irritation in your mouth, using an alcohol-based mouthwash may be painful and worsen the irritation.
  • Overuse: Frequent use of antibacterial mouthwash can disrupt the natural balance of oral bacteria and may lead to other oral health problems, such as thrush or an increased risk of tooth decay

Mouthwash alternatives

If you have sensitive oral tissue or often find your mouth burning or stinging after using mouthwash, Vakil recommends trying the following:

  • Alcohol-Free Mouthwash: Contains alcohol-free antibacterial agents to reduce the risk of irritation.
  • Natural or herbal mouthwashes: These mouthwashes use ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe vera, or xylitol and are gentler on oral tissues.
  • Salt water mouthwash: A simple mixture of salt and warm water can be an effective mouthwash and is less likely to cause irritation.



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