Hydrogen Peroxide & Gum Disease


Good oral health can keep your teeth and gums strong for your whole life. Daily brushing and flossing should already be part of your daily program. Many people feel hydrogen peroxide can also help keep your gums healthy and free of disease. Hydrogen peroxide kills the bacteria that cause plaque and infect gums and teeth that can lead to periodontal disease.

Gums and teeth.
Gums and teeth. (Image: vetkit/iStock/Getty Images)

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide almost looks like water when you write out the chemical formula--H2O2. Like water, hydrogen peroxide is odorless and colorless, but it is not tasteless. When hydrogen peroxide breaks down it releases one of the oxygen molecules leaving behind water. The freed oxygen atom becomes a free radical that kills bacteria. The bubbling that occurs when hydrogen peroxide is poured on a wound is the release of the extra oxygen molecula and the killing of bacteria.

Hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Dental Health

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to help prevent gum disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Peroxide’s bacteria-killing ability disinfects your mouth. It will not cure gum disease, because it doesn’t penetrate far below the gum line, but it holds the disease in check. It will work best in conjunction with daily brushing and flossing.

Gum disease.
Gum disease. (Image: klaptoman/iStock/Getty Images)

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

One method of incorporating hydrogen peroxide into your oral hygiene program is to put two capfuls of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in your mouth and swish it around, according to Health 911.org. It will foam somewhat, but that is hydrogen peroxide doing its disinfecting. Make sure to spit out the hydrogen peroxide and not swallow it. This should be done daily until you see improvement and then continue only once a week as maintenance.

Gargle. (Image: yo-ichi/iStock/Getty Images)

Toothbrush Storage

Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to keep your toothbrush free of bacteria. Store it in a cup of hydrogen peroxide that has enough peroxide in it to cover the bristles. This keeps the bristles disinfected, and the residue on it aids your oral health when you brush. Just make sure to change the cup of hydrogen peroxide weekly.

Toothbrushes. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Conflicting Opinions

While most people recognize the value of hydrogen peroxide there are those who think it is risky. Swallowing hydrogen peroxide can be harmful and dangerous, so be careful when using it.

Gargle carefully.
Gargle carefully. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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