Mouthwash doesn't affect fillings, crowns

January 12, 2007

A daily swish of mouthwash, which can contain oils such as eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, alcohol and sorbitol, doesn't affect dental work, a U.S. study found.

J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, professor of biomaterials science at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, examined mouth rinses and the effects they have on restorative materials in the mouth. Restorative materials studied included amalgams used for fillings, glass ionomers used to cement gold and ceramic crowns to teeth and composite fillers that are tooth-colored, an Academy of General Dentistry said in a news release.

Researchers subjected the materials to continuous exposure of mouth rinses and distilled water for 10 days, and then fashioned mouth guards containing specimens of the restorative material. Volunteer patients wore the mouth guards 12 hours a day for 10 days, rinsing twice a day with a commercial mouthwash.

The study found that even long-term exposure to a mouth rinse containing essential oils had minimal effect on the strength or surface of dental restorations of any kind.

"This is a positive finding since patients are often concerned that rinsing the mouth with alcohol-containing mouthwashes could affect their fillings," von Fraunhofer said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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