Best Mouthwash for Gingivitis & Gum Disease (Dentist Tested)

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Dentist Tested and Reviewed
Dr. Matthew Hannan | My Dental Advocate
Best Mouthwash for Gingivitis & Gum Disease | My Dental Advocate

Gum inflammation occurs when bacteria in the mouth localize above and below the gum line, triggering an inflammatory response.

If this bacteria is not removed, it can lead to gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.

Fortunately, mouthwash can eliminate bad bacteria. What are the best mouthwash for gingivitis, gum disease and bleeding gums?

As an experienced dentist with years of experience, I’ve tested and evaluated 300+ dental products. I strive to find the best products for achieving excellent oral hygiene, so let’s take a closer look at the Best Mouthwash for Gingivitis & Gum Disease from a dentist’s perspective.

Need Dental Advice? Ask Dr. Hannan!

[icon type=”fas fa-arrow-right” color=”#5d9ee1″] Related: Gingivitis | The Ultimate Guide (Content Hub)

Buying Guide

  1. Best Overall: Crest Gum Care
  2. Best Flavor: Oral-B Gum Detoxify
  3. Best Natural: The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums
  4. Best Detoxify: Listerine Gum Therapy
  5. Best Gum Care: Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection
  6. Best Comfort: SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated

Evaluation Criteria

I (Dr. Hannan) tested each product for 7-14 days, detailing its pros and cons, and rate it from 1 to 5 in four key areas.

  1. Effectiveness: Does the toothpaste treat the advertised need? How effective were the results?
  2. Comfort: Was the toothpaste comfortable? Was there any burning, stinging or uncomfortable sensation?
  3. Taste: How was the overall taste? Was it refreshing? Did it alter your sense of taste?
  4. Likeability: Likeability: Is the toothpaste likable and enjoyable to use?
[icon type=”fas fa-arrow-right” color=”#5d9ee1″] Related: 5 Best Toothpastes for Gingivitis & Gum Disease 2024


1. Best Overall | Crest Gum Care

Best Overall
Crest Gum Care Mouthwash
$35.96 $17.11 ($0.25 / Fl Oz)

Crest is a leader in the oral healthcare community combining years of research with product development.

Crest Whitestrips is their most desired product; however, they’re also known for their innovative toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss.

Gum Care contains cetylpyridinium chloride to fight gingivitis-causing bacteria.

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06/15/2024 10:55 pm GMT

Dentist Review

Pros

Crest Gum Care Mouthwash is an effective product with a refreshing flavor and minimal burning. It’s a great all-around product with no altered taste or bitter aftertaste. High likeability because of its flavor and comfort.

Cons

The dry mouth sensation transitions to a cooling effect within a few minutes.

Highlights

  • Neutralizes plaque germs
  • Antigingivitis/antiplaque
  • Cool wintergreen flavor
  • Prevents bleeding gums
  • Alcohol-free

Results

Effectiveness0
Comfort0
Taste0
Likability0
Total0

Best for patients with dry mouth and desire fresh breath.


2. Best Flavor | Oral-B Gum Detoxify

Best Flavor
Oral-B Gum Detoxify Mouthwash Oral Rinse
$8.12

Oral-B was founded in 1949 by a periodontist, his wife, and his daughter to create a safer, more effective toothbrush.

Oral-B’s Special Rinse Collection is designed to meet your oral health needs for a healthier mouth. Their product line treats dry mouth, bad breath, gum inflammation, and mouth sores.

In addition, gum Detoxify contains cetylpyridinium chloride to fight gingivitis and reduce gingival redness.

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Dentist Review

Pros

Oral B Gum Detoxify Mouthwash was more refreshing than the Crest products, and the flavor seemed to stick around long after rinsing. Cetylpyridinium chloride acts by constricting the oral tissue and fighting off the bacteria.

As a result, this product was effective and comfortable to swish with a slight stinging sensation.

Cons

After use, there’s a distinct sensation of dry, dehydrated oral tissue, common with the active ingredient cetylpyridinium chloride. Also, a bitter aftertaste may be uncomfortable for some individuals.

Highlights

  • Clinically proven healthier gums
  • 24-hour protection against plaque and bad breath
  • No added alcohol, dyes, gluten and sulfates
  • Mild mint flavor freshens breath

Results

Effectiveness0
Comfort0
Taste0
Likability0
Total0

Best for patients who desire refreshing flavor.


3. Best Natural | The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums

Best All-Natural
The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Mouthwash
$8.98 $6.78 ($0.40 / Fl Oz)

The Natural Dentist was founded to support oral health with natural, non-irritating ingredients.

Healthy gums don’t bleed; this product seeks to remove bacteria that lead to an inflammatory response in the mouth. According to clinical trials, Aloe vera is the active antimicrobial ingredient that beats prescription oral rinses.

Aloe vera has been known for its healing and soothing properties for thousands of years.

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06/15/2024 10:15 am GMT

Dentist Review

Pros

The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Mouthwash, features aloe vera that is non-irritating and leaves the gums feeling moist and healthy. There’s no dryness or quenching sensation.

There’s absolutely no bitter aftertaste, altered sensation, or mouth parchment.

Also, natural ingredients are less irritating than artificial ingredients.

Cons

Unfortunately, the taste was almost intolerable. It wasn't as refreshing as others, but it’s hard to beat all the positives that this product offers. Also, the orange zest flavor may be a better option for likeability.

Highlights

  • 20% purified aloe vera
  • Soothes and moisturizes gums
  • Peppermint freshens breath
  • Contains no sulfates, colors, alcohol or artificial flavors
  • Orange zest flavor is mint-free

Results

Effectiveness0
Comfort0
Taste0
Likability0
Total0

Best for patients with sensitive gums and values natural ingredients.


4. Best Detoxify | Listerine Gum Therapy

Best Gum Detoxify
Listerine Gum Therapy Antiplaque & Anti-Gingivitis Mouthwash
$10.65 $7.98 ($0.24 / Fl Oz)

The creator of Listerine, Dr. Joseph Lawrence, named the formulation after Dr. Baron Lister, an English surgeon who performed the first operation in a sterilized chamber disinfected with pulverized antiseptic.

Dr. Lawrence created his formulation to kill germs in tissues like your mouth. As a result, Listerine has the widest variety of mouthwash compared to other brands, offering four different bottle sizes.

Listerine Gum Therapy uses a combination of active ingredients to fight off bacteria.

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06/14/2024 09:30 am GMT

Dentist Review

Pros

Listerine Gum Therapy Mouthwash developed a great formula that offers the freshest breath with a lasting cooling effect. It was very effective at plaque removal and the intense mint flavor.

The recommended use was manageable, and their active ingredient combination led to less mouth dryness. Also, it’s accepted by the ADA.

Cons

The flavor may be a bit much for some individuals as it takes your breath away. Also, there was a slight taste alteration upon rinsing.

Highlights

  • ADA accepted
  • Antiseptic
  • Helps reverse signs of early gum disease
  • 4x healthier gums in 3 weeks
  • Eliminates redness, bleeding and inflammation

Results

Effectiveness0
Comfort0
Taste0
Likability0
Total0

Best for patients that desire a strong mint flavor.


5. Best Gum Care | Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection

Best Gum Care
Crest Pro Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash
$4.97 ($0.15 / Fl Oz)

Crest Pro-Health Advanced Multi-Protection Mouthwash with Fluoride helps you have stronger teeth* for a healthier mouth.

When you choose Crest Pro-Health Advanced mouthwash, you always choose one with comprehensive benefits. It works in addition to your toothpaste to help prevent cavities and is alcohol-free so there is no burn of alcohol.

When you rinse, you can be assured that you are reaching the areas brushing may miss to strengthen enamel and keep your breath fresh with the cool flavors of Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash.

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06/13/2024 05:20 am GMT

Dentist Review

Pros

Crest Pro Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash offers excellent flavor and lasting fresh breath long after rinsing. It was effective at removing plaque and limiting swollen gums. There was minimal stinging, and the directions were manageable to follow.

Cons

Similar to other products with cetylpyridinium chloride, you can sense the gum tissue constricting and dryness taking effect. Also, there was slight bitterness long after rinsing.

Highlights

  • Clinically proven to promote healthy gums
  • Helps prevent bad breath
  • Reduces redness and bleeding
  • Targets bacteria at the gum line

Results

Effectiveness0
Comfort0
Taste0
Likability0
Total0

Best for patients that desire gum care and fresh breath.


6. Best Comfort | SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated

Best Comfort
SmartMouth Activated Dual-Solution Breath Rinse
$26.98 ($0.84 / Fl Oz)

SmartMouth The Original Activated Dual-Solution Breath Rinse Mouthwash provides relief from the symptoms and discomfort of dry mouth.

SmartMouth dry mouth refreshes, moisturizes, rehydrates, cleans, and soothes oral irritation while lubricating oral dryness unlike any other mouth rinse out there. Utilizing patented zinc ion technology, SmartMouth delivers fresh breath for 12 hours with a single rinse.

SmartMouth is also a great kid mouthwash for youngsters over the age of six.

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06/16/2024 05:00 am GMT

Dentist Review

Pros

SmartMouth Breath Rinse does a great job formulating a gentle rinse with no aftertaste. The clean mint was refreshing and eliminated the bad breath. Also, it was effective at targeting gingivitis and bleeding gums.

Cons

We observed a parched mouth sensation during and after rinsing; however, it seemed to subside minutes later.

Highlights

  • Prescription-strength
  • Dentist developed
  • 24-hour bad breath prevention
  • Alcohol-free
  • Safe for diabetics
  • Activated zinc ions block sulfur gas

Results

Effectiveness0
Comfort0
Taste0
Likability0
Total0

Best for patients that desire gum care and lasting fresh breath.


Overall Champion | Crest Gum Care Oral Rinse*

Best Overall
Crest Gum Care Mouthwash
$35.96 $17.11 ($0.25 / Fl Oz)

Crest is a leader in the oral healthcare community combining years of research with product development.

Crest Whitestrips is their most desired product; however, they’re also known for their innovative toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss.

Gum Care contains cetylpyridinium chloride to fight gingivitis-causing bacteria.

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
06/15/2024 10:55 pm GMT

Final Thoughts

There was a three-way tie between Crest Gum Care, SmartMouth Clinical DDS, and Listerine Gum Therapy.

All three products are effective, comfortable, and flavorful. They each contain slightly different ingredients. SmartMouth and Crest Gum Care use Cetylpyridinium Chloride as their active ingredient as you sense the oral tissue constricting during swishing.

Listerine uses a variety of alcohols to eliminate harmful bacteria and freshen your breath. Their product is more likely to sting while swishing and rinsing.

If you have sensitive gums, SmartMouth is recommended; however, the overall winner is Crest Gum Care. It edged out Listerine Gum Therapy because it’s more likable and tolerable to swish.

Listerine Gum Therapy is recommended if you desire a robust and lasting flavor, Listerine Gum Therapy is recommended.

Final Rankings

  1. Crest Gum Care Oral Rinse 19/20
  2. Listerine Gum Therapy Oral Rinse 19/20
  3. SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated Oral Rinse 19/20
  4. Oral-B Gum Detoxify Oral Rinse 18/20
  5. Crest and Breath Therapy Oral Rinse 17/20
  6. The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Oral Rinse 16/20

* My Dental Advocate product reviews are based on individual experience and your results with the products may vary.

My Experience & Expertise

As a dentist, I realize that gingivitis and gum disease are prevalent oral conditions.

The good news is that the harmful bacteria that cause gingivitis can be eradicated and prevent further damage.

However, if the bacteria overstays its visit, it can progress into irreversible gum disease (periodontitis). Use our curated list of best mouthwash for gingivitis and best mouthwash for gum disease to improve your health.

In addition, talk to your dentist if you or someone you know has gingivitis or gum disease to receive proper care and treatment.

Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you'll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we'll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!

About the Author

Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.

Matt Hannan, DDS Signature | My Dental Advocate

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