Review of Ingredients in Commercially Available Mouthwashes

Review of Ingredients in Commercially Available Mouthwashes

A recent study published in the International Dental Journal provides a comprehensive analysis of the ingredients found in mouthwash products available in retail stores and pharmacies in Turkey. The study aims to determine the relative proportions and potential health benefits of these ingredients.

Most commercial mouthwashes contain antibacterial, anti-malodor, and antioxidant components that help combat dental plaque, which is a major cause of dental caries and periodontal disease. However, some of these ingredients, such as parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and chlorhexidine (CHX), can have side effects including allergic reactions, taste-related disturbances, and tooth discoloration. There have been claims of a link between certain mouthwashes and oral cancer, but there is currently no epidemiologic evidence supporting these claims.

While previous studies have examined the ingredients in toothpaste sold in Turkey, there has been limited research on the constituents of commercially available mouthwash products. This study fills that gap by examining the unique ingredients and potential side effects of mouthwashes sold in Turkey.

The researchers collected and analyzed mouthwash labels to identify the ingredients present in these products. They found that there are 45 distinct mouthwash products sold under 17 different brands in Turkey, with a total of 116 unique ingredients. The most commonly encountered ingredients include aroma, sodium fluoride, sodium saccharin, sorbitol, propylene glycol, poloxamer, glycerin, and menthol.

Sodium fluoride was found to be the most frequently used active constituent in mouthwashes, appearing in about 62% of the products. However, the authors could not determine the specific concentration of sodium fluoride in each product. They recommend using a combination of fluoride-containing mouthwash and toothpaste to enhance fluoride retention, as rinsing the mouth with water can reduce fluoride levels.

Other active ingredients found in mouthwashes include oxygene, chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX), and zeolite. However, the CHX concentrations in mouthwashes sold in Turkey are not effective in combating dental plaque.

Most mouthwashes sold in Turkey are water or water-alcohol-based, but the presence of alcohol in these products is not clearly indicated. Some studies suggest that alcohol-containing mouthwashes may increase the risk of oral cancer. However, most mouthwash brands in Turkey use benzyl alcohol instead of ethyl alcohol, which is considered a safer ingredient.

In conclusion, this study highlights the need for further research on the potential health impacts of mouthwash ingredients. It is important to evaluate the human and environmental consequences of dental care products, including mouthwashes, to ensure their safe and effective use.

Yazicioglu, O., Ucuncu, M. K., & Guven, K. (2023). Ingredients in Commercially Available Mouthwashes: A Review. International Dental Journal. doi:10.1016/j.identj.2023.08.004

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