6 Best Mouthwashes for Gingivitis & Gum Disease 2022

Category: Adult Dentistry, Dr. Advocate's Insights, Oral Health

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By: Dr. Advocate
Updated: November 24, 2022

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. When this occurs, the bone begins to move away from the irritation, and bone loss occurs. Bone loss is irreversible, so it is paramount to remove the bacteria before it causes damage.

The tested products contain several active ingredients to treat gingivitis and plaque accumulation. For example, The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Oral Rinse contains aloe vera, and the Crest products contain cetylpyridinium chloride. In addition, Listerine Gum Therapy Oral Rinse uses eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, and methyl salicylate. Each product attacks the bacteria differently, leading to a unique taste, oral sensation, and lasting effects.

Related: Gingivitis | The Ultimate Guide (Content Hub)


Harmful Oral Bacteria Problems

  • Bad breath
  • Plaque accumulation
  • Gingivitis
  • Gum disease
  • Irreversible bone loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Systemic health correlation

According to recent studies, researchers have discovered a correlation between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The link between gum disease and systemic health problems becomes more apparent when researched. The Mouth-body connection is a popular topic in healthcare today, and rightfully so to discover the best healthy living practices.

Related: What is Gingivitis? Causes, Symptoms & Treatment 2022



Evaluation Criteria

We highlight each product’s unique, advertised benefits, identify their pros and cons and score each one from 1 to 5 based on four categories. The toothpaste with the highest score is crowned the overall champion; however, we’ll also give suggested patient benefits for each product. Prices listed are subject to change and discussed in each review, however they were not considered within the scoring criteria.


  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?



Crest Gum Care Oral Rinse

Crest Gum Care Oral Rinse | Top 6 Best Gum Care Mouthwash

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.

Let’s take a closer look at this gum care oral rinse to see how it stacks up with its competitors.


Highlights
  • $6.50 per bottle (16.9 oz)
  • Neutralizes plaque germs
  • Antigingivitis/antiplaque
  • Cool wintergreen flavor
  • Prevents bleeding gums
  • Alcohol-free

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Likeability: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Total: 19/20


Pros

Crest Gum Care formulated 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.


Best for patients with dry mouth and desire fresh breath.




Oral-B Gum Detoxify Oral Rinse

Oral-B Gum Detoxify Oral Rinse | Top 6 Best Gum Care Mouthwash

The brand “trusted by dentists and consumers worldwide” offers many products to meet your unique oral care needs. 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.

Let’s take a closer look at this unique product.


Highlights
  • $7.99 per bottle (16 oz)
  • 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

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Likeability: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

Total: 18/20


Pros

This product 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.


Best for patients that desire refreshing flavor.




The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Oral Rinse

The Natural Dentist Healthy Gums Oral Rinse | Top 6 Best Gum Care Mouthwash

The Natural Dentist was founded to support oral health with natural, non-irritating ingredients. Healthy gums don’t bleed, and 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 thousands of years for its healing and soothing properties.

Let’s take a closer look at this oral rinse.


Highlights
  • $7.99 per bottle (16 oz)
  • 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

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒
Likeability: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

Total: 16/20


Pros

The aloe vera is non-irritating and leaves the gum tissue 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.


Best for patients with sensitive gums and values natural ingredients.




Listerine Gum Therapy Oral Rinse

Listerine Gum Therapy Oral Rinse | Top 6 Best Gum Care Mouthwash

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.

Let’s take a look at this popular gum therapy oral rinse.


Highlights
  • $16.99 per bottle (1 L)
  • ADA accepted
  • Antiseptic
  • Helps reverse signs of early gum disease
  • 4x healthier gums in 3 weeks
  • Eliminates redness, bleeding and inflammation

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Likeability: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Total: 19/20


Pros

Listerine 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.


Best for patients that desire a strong mint flavor.




Crest Gum and Breath Therapy Oral Rinse

Crest Gum and Breath Therapy Oral Rinse | Top 6 Best Gum Care Mouthwash

As discussed, Crest is a leader in the oral healthcare community combining years of research with product development. Gum and Breath Purify also contains cetylpyridinium chloride, similar to Gum Care, to fight gingivitis-causing bacteria. It uses the same amount of active ingredients and also seeks to relieve bad breath.

Let’s take a closer look at this refreshing product.


Highlights
  • $3.50 per bottle (1 L)
  • Clinically proven to promote healthy gums
  • Helps prevent bad breath
  • Reduces redness and bleeding
  • Targets bacteria at the gum line

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Likeability: ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒

Total: 17/20


Pros

This product 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.


Best for patients that desire gum care and fresh breath.




SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated Oral Rinse

SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated Oral Rinse | Top 6 Best Gum Care Mouthwash

Dr. Marvin Cohen founded SmartMouth Oral Health Laboratories in 1993. Dr. Cohen was a leader in researching and developing products to combat Halitosis. The original activated oral rinse seeks to eliminate sulfur gas production using patented zinc ion-activated technology. This product is prescription strength, fights inflammation-causing bacteria, and eliminates sulfur gas production. Their bottle design has dual chambers to harness the power of both bad breath fighting solutions.

Let’s take a closer look at this product.


Highlights
  • $12.50 per bottle (16 oz)
  • Prescription-strength
  • Dentist developed
  • 24-hour bad breath prevention
  • Alcohol-free
  • Safe for diabetics
  • Activated zinc ions block sulfur gas

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Likeability: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Total: 19/20


Pros

SmartMouth did 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.


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




Overall Champion: Crest Gum Care Oral Rinse*

Crest Gum Care Oral Rinse | Top 6 Best Gum Care Mouthwash

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 alcohol 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.


Final Thoughts

Gingivitis and gum disease are prevalent oral conditions. 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). Talk to your dentist if you or someone you know has gingivitis or gum disease to receive proper care and treatment.


Related: 5 Best Toothpastes for Gingivitis & Gum Disease 2022

The more you know, the more healthy habits you can develop, saving you and your family from avoidable and potentially expensive dental procedures. Talk to your dental professional for more suggestions on improving oral health and check back for more blog posts and relevant information. Please share this site and let us know what else you’d like to know!




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About the Author

Dr. Advocate is an actual board-certified dentist with clinical practice experience and a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources presented in layman’s terms with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.