View Full Version : Hydrogen peroxide vs. Listerine as mouthwash

Barking Spider
05-19-2002, 09:50 PM
This could be one of those "In my opinion" questions, but I decided to post it here hoping someone has a factual answer.

Which is more effective as a mouthwash, Listerine or hydrogen peroxide?

In my experience, Hydrogen peroxide bubbles up and at least acts like it's killing germs. It's also a proven antiseptic. Listerine on the other hand, actually gets my saliva going, and is actually sort of painfull to keep in my mouth. It contains alcohol, which is another proven antiseptic.

I usually alternate between the two mouthwashes. I was just wondering if anyone knew if one has the advantage over another.

05-19-2002, 11:58 PM
"Which is more effective as a mouthwash, Listerine or hydrogen peroxide?"

More effective for what purpose? killing germs? getting your saliva going, causing pain?

I assume you believe that either Listerine or hydrogen peroxide, or both, provide you with some benefit when you swish them around in your mouth. If you could clearly state what that presumed benefit is, someone can surely answer your question.

05-20-2002, 02:56 AM
Not sure if hydrogen peroxide is better or not but I did watch a TV program the other day that stated that mouthwashes containing alcohol actually create bad breath.

I wish I could remember the actual reason but I really don't recall. But it makes sense. Ever wake up after a night of drinking and your mouth tastes like you sucked on athletic socks all night?

Wisest Novel
05-20-2002, 04:21 AM
The reason given for alcohol-based mouthwashes contributing to halitosis is that they dry the mouth. Saliva acts to both transport dead cells and bacteria into the stomach (where it is digested), and as a natural antiseptic. With a dry mouth, the bacteria are more free to thrive. Many mouthwashes now advertise their "alcohol-free" status as a selling point for this reason. Sugar is another ingredient to avoid in mouthwashes, if you're a label-reader, by the way.

Since the hydrogen peroxide solution sold in drugstores is already mostly water, and because it breaks down in the "fizzing reaction" to water and oxygen gas (which provides the antiseptic effect), I would speculate that it does not have a similar drying effect, though I have no handy cite for this.

However, in terms of killing germs by antiseptic intervention, I would say that an alcohol-based solution would be more effective than hydrogen peroxide in the short run, as the latter is a less effective antiseptic in general. However, contact antisepsis is not the only modality at issue, and the short run is not the only thing one is concerned about with a mouthwash. Given that, I'd have to go with the peroxide solution for overall efficacy. I'll see if I can find a study that supports or refutes my hypothesis after I get a few winks.

Oh, and say hello to The Springs for me, techchick. I've lived there three times in my career, and am considering a job offer to go back. It's a great little town.

Hello Again
05-20-2002, 12:16 PM
You can get Chlorhexadine gluconate, a non-alchohol oral antiseptic, by prescription from your dentist.

05-20-2002, 09:46 PM
Doesn't peroxide also eat away at the teeth?

05-20-2002, 10:23 PM
A little OJ in the morning does wonders for "morning mouth". Brushing also helps. Oh, and don't forget to floss.

05-20-2002, 11:25 PM
I have heard (from Dr Karl - science guy on Australian national radio) that the bad breath smell comes from bacteria on the tongue, and one proven way to get rid of it is to use a tongue scraper or to brush your tongue for a minute after brushing ones teeth.

I have tried tongue scrapers and I can't handle the feel of them. It makes me feel all wierd, but the brushing the tongue isn't so bad.

Hope this helps, of course not answering the OP, but offering another suggestion.

05-20-2002, 11:58 PM
I've been using peroxide for at least 30 yrs.and my teeth don't seem to be eaten way.Also brush my tongue and that's also intact.

One thing peroxide doesn't have,tho,is that medicinal or sweet taste of most mouthwashes,nor any taste at all.Sorta like rinsing w/a dissolved seltzer tablet.And way cheaper.

So peroxide ,in those cases,seem better to me than Listerine or any commercial brand.