Concern About Chlorhexidine Mouthwash

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May 26, 2021
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Greetings,

I was recently prescribed a Chlorhexidine mouthwash to use for two weeks to help with my gingivitis and in particular heal what I was told was an inflamed gum issue which has caused what looks like a sort of skin tag/canker on the gum portion of the inside of my teeth.

However being the paranoid person that I am with medications and side effects, I read about how it can cause stains and even further tarter issues - which is already a problem for me because I produce a lot of plaque/tarter because I have an extreme dry mouth problem and so saliva isn't being produced properly. In addition to other side effects like taste changes, etc.

I just wanted to get a second or even third opinion on Chlorhexidine - would this really be the only way to deal with the inflamed gum skin tag/canker vs say Colgate's Peroxyl or some other mouth wash/treatment with less side effects? Just looking at some Google searches - I have seen some dentists say they don't use it, but they really didn't go into detail why outside of acknowledging the side effects. Perhaps the risks don't outweigh the benefits in their view. I just was hoping to be able to actually talk to a dentist here about it. Is the risk of staining very low if you don't exceed the two weeks and can it be removed if there is indeed staining?

I would greatly appreciate any feedback on the above and whatever stance any dentists here have about the Chlorhexidine mouth wash. Recommending or otherwise.

Thank you.

HS
 

MattKW

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It doesn't sound like a canker ulcer (apthous ulcer) and chlorhex mothwash (CHX) doesn't help that anyway. CHX is excellent for helping to improve gum health, but works only if you are practsising good oral hygiene , i.e. brsuhing, flossing. It is not a miracle cure by itself. As for staining, a 0.12% solution or 50:50 0.2%:water mix doesn't lead to staining. I use the 0.2% solution last thing at night for last 15 years and have had no noticeable side-effects like staining, taste disturbance, dryness (no alcohol in it).
 

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It doesn't sound like a canker ulcer (apthous ulcer) and chlorhex mothwash (CHX) doesn't help that anyway. CHX is excellent for helping to improve gum health, but works only if you are practsising good oral hygiene , i.e. brsuhing, flossing. It is not a miracle cure by itself. As for staining, a 0.12% solution or 50:50 0.2%:water mix doesn't lead to staining. I use the 0.2% solution last thing at night for last 15 years and have had no noticeable side-effects like staining, taste disturbance, dryness (no alcohol in it).

Thanks for getting back to me.

Well I was trying to describe what it looks like, so it may not actually be a canker. I asked my dentist that I recently noticed a raised skin bump that my tongue went over - she looked at it and mentioned it was due to the inflammation per my gum issues in general. This would not have been prescribed otherwise. Just to try to get rid of the bump/inflammation - whatever it is.

As I mentioned, I have extreme dry mouth problems due to a deviated septum - so I am often breathing through my mouth. In addition, I take Tegretol for epilepsy, so that further contributes negatively to gum issues. It is always going to be a problem no matter how good the oral hygiene is, which is why I go in for 3 month cleanings instead of 6 months.

I can take a photo of it if you wanted to see unless you already have an idea what it is, but if CHX doesn't help in this regard to heal the skin bump - what would? Does Colgate Peroxyl help with such things?

If the staining is not really an issue at this solution level for two weeks - why are there endless warnings over CHX and some dentists that definitively are against using it? I get with any drug - you need to list possible side effects, but it seems this goes beyond that and there is almost fear mongering going on with CHX, which quite frankly inspired my post here.

Thank you very much for your time.

HM
 
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MattKW

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Sure, put up a photo.
As for the potential for staining, I have personally found it over-rated. Yes, I've had a few patients start to develop a stain, but it is easily polished off by a dentist. I attach an article with some sentences highlighted.
 

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Joined
May 26, 2021
Messages
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Sure, put up a photo.
As for the potential for staining, I have personally found it over-rated. Yes, I've had a few patients start to develop a stain, but it is easily polished off by a dentist. I attach an article with some sentences highlighted.
Greetings MattKW,

Sorry for the delay. Thank you very much for the article and your time. I will post a photo soon as well.

Speaking about staining - just to get your feedback here as well: do modern formulations of stannous flouride and mouthwashes with cetylpyridinium chloride cause staining and you wouldn't recommend or do you think the warnings are over-rated there as well? If both do cause staining - can that be polished away as well?

My wife came home with this new Colgate toothpaste in Canada with stannous flouride as the active ingredient per the photo below as she thought it might be helpful per the issues I have mentioned to you. Just wanted to get your thoughts.

Thank you very much.

HM

21517424_front_a06_@2.png
 

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I understand your concerns about using Chlorhexidine mouthwash and the potential side effects. It's always important to weigh the benefits and risks of any treatment. I'm not a dentist, but I can offer some general insights that might help you make an informed decision.

Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic mouthwash that is commonly prescribed to help manage gum inflammation, gingivitis, and other oral infections. While it can be effective in reducing harmful bacteria and promoting gum health, it's true that there are potential side effects to consider:

1. Staining: Chlorhexidine can cause staining of teeth, dental restorations, and even the tongue. This staining is more likely if the mouthwash is used for an extended period or in higher concentrations.

2. Taste Changes: Some people may experience a temporary alteration in taste perception when using Chlorhexidine.

3. Dry Mouth: Given your existing dry mouth issue, it's important to note that Chlorhexidine might exacerbate this symptom for some individuals.

It's worth discussing your concerns with your dentist or healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on whether the potential benefits of using Chlorhexidine outweigh the risks in your specific situation. They might also explore alternative treatment options based on your individual needs and health profile. Colgate's Peroxyl is a milder oral rinse that's used for soothing oral irritations, but it may not provide the same level of antibacterial action as Chlorhexidine.

Regarding the staining risk, using Chlorhexidine for the prescribed two weeks under professional guidance should have a lower likelihood of causing significant staining. Regular dental hygiene practices and professional cleanings can help manage any staining that might occur.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to use Chlorhexidine or explore alternative options should be made in consultation with your dentist. They can provide personalized advice based on your oral health condition, medical history, and treatment goals.You can get more information from dentist professionals by visting Mylifesmiles.
 

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Joined
May 26, 2021
Messages
9
I understand your concerns about using Chlorhexidine mouthwash and the potential side effects. It's always important to weigh the benefits and risks of any treatment. I'm not a dentist, but I can offer some general insights that might help you make an informed decision.

Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic mouthwash that is commonly prescribed to help manage gum inflammation, gingivitis, and other oral infections. While it can be effective in reducing harmful bacteria and promoting gum health, it's true that there are potential side effects to consider:

1. Staining: Chlorhexidine can cause staining of teeth, dental restorations, and even the tongue. This staining is more likely if the mouthwash is used for an extended period or in higher concentrations.

2. Taste Changes: Some people may experience a temporary alteration in taste perception when using Chlorhexidine.

3. Dry Mouth: Given your existing dry mouth issue, it's important to note that Chlorhexidine might exacerbate this symptom for some individuals.

It's worth discussing your concerns with your dentist or healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on whether the potential benefits of using Chlorhexidine outweigh the risks in your specific situation. They might also explore alternative treatment options based on your individual needs and health profile. Colgate's Peroxyl is a milder oral rinse that's used for soothing oral irritations, but it may not provide the same level of antibacterial action as Chlorhexidine.

Regarding the staining risk, using Chlorhexidine for the prescribed two weeks under professional guidance should have a lower likelihood of causing significant staining. Regular dental hygiene practices and professional cleanings can help manage any staining that might occur.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to use Chlorhexidine or explore alternative options should be made in consultation with your dentist. They can provide personalized advice based on your oral health condition, medical history, and treatment goals.You can get more information from dentist professionals by visting Mylifesmiles.
Thanks for the response. My dentist's position is that it should be fine if you don't use beyond the two weeks. Also my gum issues are beyond just some mild gingivitis, so also why this was recommended.

Again, I admit I am a paranoid person in this regard and I also just wanted to see what might be the second choice to use for such gum issues if not Chlorhexidine. I guess I assumed that this couldn't be the only product in modern dental existence that provides the same or similar/slightly less effectiveness, but without such side effects.

Thanks again!

HM
 

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MattKW

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Thanks for the response. My dentist's position is that it should be fine if you don't use beyond the two weeks. Also my gum issues are beyond just some mild gingivitis, so also why this was recommended.

Again, I admit I am a paranoid person in this regard and I also just wanted to see what might be the second choice to use for such gum issues if not Chlorhexidine. I guess I assumed that this couldn't be the only product in modern dental existence that provides the same or similar/slightly less effectiveness, but without such side effects.

Thanks again!

HM
Well, CHX is streets ahead of other mouthwashes, primarily to its substantivity (ability to last up to 12 hrs). If you are struggling to get gums under control, the purported side-effects are not very common, nor are they serious. If you start getting side-effects of staining or taste disturbance, just stop using it.
 

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