5 Best Mouthwash for Oral Thrush 2024 (Dentist Recommended)
Dentist Tested & Reviewed
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: January 16, 2024
When you think of mouthwash, you likely picture a minty-fresh breath or that invigorating after-taste that signals a clean mouth.
But what if your mouthwash could be a knight in shining armor against a sneaky oral foe – oral thrush?
Diving deep into the world of oral health, we’ll unveil how the right mouthwash can give you that fresh feeling and shield you from this uncomfortable condition.
As an experienced dentist with years of experience, I’ve tested and evaluated 250+ 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 Oral Thrush from a dentist’s perspective.
- Best Overall: Colgate Peroxyl Mouthwash
- Best All-Natural: Tom’s of Maine Natural Mouthwash
- Best Value: Oral-B Mouth Sore Oral Rinse
- Best Sensitivity: CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash
- Best Prescription: Magic Mouthwash
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Understanding Oral Thrush
Let’s kick things off by addressing the culprit head-on. Oral thrush is a pesky yeast infection for those fortunate enough not to make its acquaintance.
Officially, it goes by the moniker “oropharyngeal candidiasis” (try saying that three times fast). In layman’s terms? It’s an overgrowth of a fungus named Candida albicans in our mouths.
- Creamy, white lesions. Think of it like cottage cheese splattered on your tongue and the insides of your cheeks.
- A niggling soreness or even a burning sensation in the mouth.
- The ever-so-annoying cottony feeling makes you feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
- A decrease in your taste sensations. Yep, your favorite chocolate might not taste the same.
Why bother? Besides the obvious discomfort, unchecked oral thrush might lead to more severe infections, especially if you have a weakened immune system. It’s not just about aesthetics or a minor inconvenience.
This fungal fiend can take a real toll on your oral health.
How to Treat Oral Thrush
Oral thrush might be pesky, but with a game plan, it’s manageable.
- Professional Diagnosis: Always start with a visit to your dentist or doctor to confirm it’s indeed oral thrush.
- Antifungal Medications: Topical antifungals, like clotrimazole lozenges, directly treat the affected area. Oral antifungals, such as fluconazole, address more severe or widespread cases.
- Boost Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss consistently. Also, consider switching to a new toothbrush post-diagnosis.
- Diet Tweaks: Cut down on sugar, a feast for Candida and add probiotic-rich foods like yogurt to your diet.
- Rinses: An antifungal mouthwash or a saltwater rinse can help soothe symptoms.
- Address Underlying Issues: If you have health conditions like diabetes, ensure they’re well-managed to prevent recurrent thrush outbreaks.
How Mouthwash Helps
You’re probably thinking, “So, mouthwash, the stuff I swig to ward off garlic breath, can help?”
Bingo! Mouthwash is not just about keeping socially awkward breath situations at bay. There’s science packed into that bottle.
- Beyond Fresh Breath: The beauty of mouthwash is its multi-tasking prowess. It’s a potent cleanser, sweeping away food residues, tackling harmful bacteria, and ensuring your mouth isn’t a party spot for undesirable guests like Candida.
- Antifungal Superstars: Not all mouthwashes are created equal. The champions in the fight against oral thrush are those boasting antifungal properties. These guys mean business, actively reducing the growth of our not-so-friendly fungus.
- The Balancing Act: Remember the pH scale from school? Well, our mouth’s pH balance is pivotal. A mouth that’s too acidic is like rolling out the red carpet for Candida. The right mouthwash helps maintain a balanced oral pH, making it a tad unwelcoming for fungal overgrowth.
So next time you cap that mouthwash bottle, give it a nod of appreciation. It’s doing more heavy lifting than you thought!
According to Medscape, 10.74% of adults with COVID-19 had oral thrush, and another study reported oral thrush in 11.63% of pediatric patients.
Factors Influencing the Efficacy of Mouthwash
Delving deeper, let’s understand that not every mouthwash bottle on the shelf will be your knight in shining armor. Several factors determine how effective mouthwash can be against oral thrush and other dental challenges.
- Active Ingredients: This is the heart of any mouthwash. Ingredients like chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, and essential oils have antimicrobial properties. Those containing ketoconazole or nystatin might offer antifungal benefits, specifically against Candida.
- Alcohol Content: Some believe that a strong burn means it’s working, but high alcohol content can sometimes exacerbate dry mouth, which ironically, can make one more susceptible to oral thrush. Knowing the alcohol content and its implications is crucial.
- pH Level: As discussed, balancing pH is essential in preventing Candida overgrowth. Mouthwashes that neutralize the acidity in your mouth can be beneficial.
- Fluoride Presence: While fluoride is fantastic for preventing tooth decay, its role in the fight against oral thrush is less direct. Still, oral health can indirectly help make your mouth less hospitable to fungal growth.
- Taste and Sensation: Sometimes, the simple act of feeling refreshed can encourage regular use. A mouthwash that feels and tastes good ensures you’ll use it often, reaping all its potential benefits.
Top 5 Best Mouthwash for Oral Thrush
Ready to combat oral thrush with the best in the business? Dive into our five best mouthwash for oral thrush picks that have proven their mettle against this pesky fungal foe.
1. Colgate Peroxyl Antiseptic Mouthwash (Best Overall)
Colgate seeks to develop products that promote healthy smiles.
They’ve been in the oral health care industry for over 145 years and offer various oral care products. Sustainability is also important to them as they recently created a first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube.
In addition, they strive to be an accessible company that offers many educational resources to the public and dental professionals. Peroxyl Mouth Sore Rinse is formulated with 1.5% hydrogen peroxide to cleanse and promote the healing of minor oral wounds.
When it comes to delivering consistent results, the Colgate Peroxyl Mouth Sore Rinse takes the crown.
This isn’t just any rinse – it’s a specialized formula promoting healing oral irritations.
With its oxygenating action, it not only alleviates the symptoms of oral thrush but also aids in reducing inflammation and gum irritation.
Plus, coming from a trusted brand like Colgate, you can be confident in its quality and efficacy. It’s a comprehensive solution, making it the top pick for overall oral thrush management.
2. Tom’s of Maine Natural Mouthwash (Best All-Natural)
Tom's of Maine Wicked Fresh! Natural Mouthwash brings out your best breath without the burn.
This fluoride-free, alcohol-free* mouthwash uses zinc to neutralize the odor caused by bad breath germs. Plus, it contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and is not tested on animals.
With more than 50 years of experience combining scientific know-how, naturally derived ingredients and a bit of ingenuity, we make products that are good for you and the planet.
For those who lean towards nature’s remedies, Tom’s of Maine is a go-to brand, and their Wicked Fresh Mouthwash is a testament to why.
Crafted without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, it offers a natural solution for oral care.
With the essence of cool mountain mint, it doesn’t just freshen breath but provides a soothing experience.
Plus, Tom’s commitment to sustainable and ethical practices means you’re making a good choice for you and the planet. It’s the perfect blend of nature and effectiveness in the battle against oral concerns.
3. Oral-B Mouth Sore Oral Rinse (Best Value)
The Oral-B Special Care Rinse Collection is crafted to meet your unique oral care needs.
Oral-B Mouth Sore Special Care Mouthwash is formulated to fight against Canker Sores, Cheek Bites, Braces & Denture irritations, Oral & Gum Irritations. No added: Alcohol, Artificial Dyes, Parabens, Gluten, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).
Oral health shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, and with Oral-B’s Mouth Sore Oral Rinse, it doesn’t.
This rinse, formulated especially for mouth sores and irritations, offers the kind of targeted relief you’d expect from high-end brands but at a fraction of the price.
Its effective formula helps alleviate pain and promotes healing, making it an indispensable asset in your oral care arsenal.
Couple this with the trusted reputation of Oral-B, and you’ve got premium care without the premium price tag. An undeniable win for budget-conscious consumers.
4. CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash (Best Sensitivity)
CloSYS Mouthwashes you can protect your mouth from harmful bad breath germs and freshen your breath without the painful burn.
CloSYS is one of the first mouthwashes to receive the American Dental Association seal for reducing bad breath. This gentle but powerful mouthwash is perfect for all ages because its patented formula is pH-balanced and so gentle you’ll actually use it longer for better results.
A 30-second rinse in the morning and evening after each brushing is easy, and all it takes to get great results. CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash comes unflavored so it's like water and even tastes like water.
For those with sensitive mouths, CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash is a game-changer.
Specifically designed without the burn of traditional mouthwashes, it offers gentle yet powerful oral protection.
Its unflavored formula means no unnecessary additives or irritants, making it an oasis of relief for sensitive mouths.
Not only does it fight against oral thrush and other oral ailments, but it does so without causing additional discomfort.
With CloSYS, individuals with sensitivity can finally enjoy the protective benefits of a mouthwash without any of the downsides.
5. Magic Mouthwash (Best Prescription)
Magic Mouthwash is a unique blend, often prescribed for various oral conditions, including oral thrush.
While its ingredients can vary based on the prescribing doctor’s preference, it typically contains at least three: an antihistamine, an antacid, an antifungal, an antibiotic, and a local anesthetic.
Why It’s Important
- Comprehensive Treatment: Magic Mouthwash addresses multiple symptoms at once. The antifungal fights the Candida causing oral thrush, the local anesthetic provides pain relief, and the antihistamine can help with any inflammatory reactions.
- Customizable: Since the blend can be tailored, doctors can adjust the ingredients based on a patient’s specific needs or the severity of their condition.
- Prompt Relief: Many patients report quick relief from pain and discomfort after using Magic Mouthwash.
- Short Shelf Life: Due to its compounded nature, it often has a shorter shelf life than commercial mouthwashes.
- Varied Formulations: Because there isn’t a standard formulation, what one pharmacy provides might differ slightly from another.
Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any prescription medication, including Magic Mouthwash, to ensure its appropriateness and safety for your condition.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Oral thrush is a fungal infection in the mouth caused by the Candida fungus. Its primary symptoms include white, creamy lesions on the tongue and inner cheeks, which can bleed if scraped. Some people may also experience difficulty swallowing, a feeling of cotton in the mouth, or a loss of taste.
Mouthwashes designed to combat oral thrush contain antifungal properties that help in reducing the Candida fungus in the mouth. Additionally, maintaining a balanced oral pH and practicing good oral hygiene with the aid of mouthwashes can also help prevent the condition.
Yes, ingredients such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, and baking soda have shown some antifungal properties and can be found in natural mouthwashes. They might provide benefits in preventing or managing oral thrush.
My Experience & Expertise
As a dentist, I cannot emphasize the importance of maintaining optimal oral health.
While treatable, oral thrush can be a sign of an underlying issue or arise due to various factors like medication or medical conditions. Addressing oral concerns at their earliest to prevent any complications or prolonged discomfort is always recommended.
When considering mouthwashes, whether over-the-counter or prescription like the Magic Mouthwash, always consult with your dental professional to determine the best choice for your unique needs. Remember, a product might work wonders for one person but may not be suitable for another.
Personalized dental advice is invaluable.
Moreover, while medicated mouthwashes can be effective against oral thrush, they are just one part of a comprehensive oral care regimen. Regular check-ups, a balanced diet, and good daily oral hygiene practices form the foundation for a healthy mouth. Your smile is an investment – take good care of it!
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.
Connect with Dr. Hannan!
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