Are you recommending a mouth rinse for your patients? There is a plethora of research addressing the efficacy of different mouth rinses however, have you considered the adverse events associated with their use?
A systematic review published in Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety in 2019 reviewing adverse events with home use of mouth rinses highlights the good, the bad and the need for further studies.
Patients see an added benefit with the breath freshening aspect of mouth rinses, but are they innocuous?
The studies that have included adverse event reporting indicate the most reported adverse event was tooth staining followed by alteration of taste. Some other concerning adverse events reported
with less frequency include; mucosal desquamation, ulcers, increased calculus formation, and a burning sensation of oral tissues. It is important to mention one of the limitations of this systematic review is that it focused on healthy adults, therefore special needs, children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women as well as patients with chronic illnesses were excluded.
The current scientific literature has not provided a clear consensus regarding the best active ingredient to use continuously to maintain oral health without significant adverse effects. This leaves dental professionals unaware and unable to educate patients on any scientifically proven risks associated with the use of mouth rinses.
Studies support short term use of mouth rinse safety, however with the lack of scientific studies dental professionals will need to use critical thinking when making recommendations. We encourage you to read the entire article and give us your feedback.
Do you recommend mouth rinses for long or short term use currently? Were you aware of the lack of science supporting the safety of the long term use of mouth rinses?
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