Best Mouthwash for Gum Disease and Gingivitis

According to the NHS, most of us experience gum disease from time to time. It’s a worrying condition. But there are things you can do to prevent and treat it and buying the right mouthwash is one (but only one). We’ve selected and tested the 10 best mouthwashes for gum disease for you to consider.

Before checking them out there are 4 key things you need to know: what gum disease is; what causes gum disease; can you cure gum disease and can mouthwash help? They’re summarised below. 

Take a moment to read this short section to ensure you select the right product for your needs. We go into more detail beneath our reviews but if you’re concerned about gum disease you should always speak to your dentist

What is gum disease, what causes gum disease, can you cure gum disease, and how can mouthwash help?

Gum disease is caused by the buildup of a sticky bacterial film called plaque along the gum line. Plaque bacteria irritate your gums and cause inflammation.

If your gums have started to bleed whilst brushing, or are sore or swollen gums and have noticed bad breath, you probably have the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis.

You may also notice an accelerated buildup of plaque and tartar. This is due to gaps (called periodontal pockets) opening between your teeth and gums. These provide perfect breeding grounds for more plaque bacteria. 

You must treat gingivitis quickly or it could develop into the next stage, periodontal disease. This affects the tissues securing your teeth in place. You may notice pain when chewing, your teeth may loosen, your gums recede and you could lose teeth, or even bone. According to the British Dental Journal you could also develop serious general health conditions.

Can you cure gum disease? You can treat gingivitis, eliminate the symptoms and keep it at bay if you maintain a good oral health regime. So in that sense, yes. 

If you have advanced periodontal disease, you will need professional treatment. The symptoms can be relieved and managed, but the damage done may be irreversible (for example, a lost tooth won’t grow back).

Mouthwash CAN help, BUT only if it is a specialist mouthwash designed to tackle gum disease. Cosmetic, whitening mouthwashes won’t help at all. 

In addition, mouthwash will only help if you start with a clean slate. If you have a buildup of tartar (hardened plaque), you must consult your dentist and get it removed professionally. Otherwise investing in a good mouthwash for gum disease will be a waste of money. 

Best mouthwash for gum disease

MouthwashBest for
Corsodyl Alcohol Free Mouthwash,
Vitis Gingival

Gingivitis (early stage gum disease)
Curasept Oral Rinse,
Gengigel Oral Rinse
Gingivitis, closing periodontal pockets plus later stages of gum disease such as receding gums
UltraDEX Daily Oral RInse,
CB12 Mouthwash,
CloSYS Oral Rinse
Preventing plaque/bacterial buildup and eliminating bad breath associated with gum disease
Nature’s Answer PeriobriteReducing and controlling plaque bacteria naturally
Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment,
Colgate Plax Cool Mint Antibacterial Mouthwash

Preventing plaque/bacterial build up and maintaining good oral health on a shoestring

Corsodyl Alcohol Free Mouthwash

Corsodyl Gum Disease & Bleeding Gum Treatment, Antibacterial Mouthwash, Alcohol Free, Mint Flavour,...

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Key Features

  • Key ingredients: Chlorhexidine digluconate
  • How does Corsodyl taste? Minty, but with an unpleasant aftertaste
  • Unique Selling Point: Most well known antibacterial mouthwash

How does Corsodyl Alcohol Free Mouthwash work?

Corsodyl mouthwash contains an antiseptic ingredient called chlorhexidine. The British Dental Journal, recognises it as the gold standard antiseptic for the treatment of gum disease. 

It kills plaque bacteria fast and ‘sticks’ to teeth and gums to provide a protective barrier that stops plaque build up – even after the mouthwash has been spat out. 

Used correctly, Corsodyl mouthwash will provide antibacterial protection to your mouth for up to 12 hours.

It will help to treat early onset gum disease (gingivitis) and should relieve inflamed gums (though see ‘what we don’t like’, below). Used early enough, it helps to stop gingivitis developing into the more serious stage of gum disease, periodontitis.

What we like

  • Effective antibacterial mouthwash which treats gingivitis and stops it becoming a more serious form of gum disease
  • Price
  • Alcohol free
  • Made by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline
  • Relieves inflammation and sore gums in most users

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What we don’t like

  • Chlorhexidine can stain the teeth and tongue brown and change how everything tastes for a long time after use
  • Has an unpleasant back taste
  • The moisturising ingredient (macrogolglycerol hydroxystearate) can cause irritation to soft gum tissues – this is disappointing in a product meant to relieve sore gums! 

Who is Corsodyl Alcohol Free Mouthwash best for?

Corsodyl is probably the best known antiseptic mouthwash in the UK. It is widely advertised as an effective treatment for the early stages of gum disease (gingivitis).

It does work and dentists do recommend it. However, it can stain teeth and cause taste disturbances and this does put people off using it. What’s more, you may find you are sensitive to the moisturizing ingredient and experience irritation of the gums (though this is not common).

That said, if you have mild symptoms of gum disease and want to find a reasonably priced, effective product, Corsodyl is worth a try. It is not recommended for long term use anyway. So as a fall back to keep on hand for when symptoms begin to develop, Corsodyl is good value for money and ‘does what it says on the tin’.

If you want to use an antiseptic mouthwash on an ongoing basis, you could try Corsodyl Daily. It contains a much lower volume of chlorhexidine (0.06%). But problems with tooth staining can still occur over prolonged use. If staining is a concern for you, consider Vitis Gingival, reviewed next.

What ingredients are in Corsodyl Alcohol Free Mouthwash?

Active ingredient: Chlorhexidine Digluconate 0.2%

Other ingredients: Glycerol, Macrogolglycerol Hydroxystearate, Sorbitol Liquid, Peppermint Flavour and Purified Water

Corsodyl Gum Disease & Bleeding Gum Treatment, Antibacterial Mouthwash, Alcohol Free, Mint Flavour,...
  • 0.2% chlorhexidine digluconate, alcohol free mouthwash
  • Treats gum problems
  • Bleeding gums

Vitis Gingival Mouthwash

Vitis Gingival The Ultimate Daily Gum Care Alcohol Free Mouthwash, 500 ml

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Key Features

  • Key ingredients: Cetylpyridinium chloride, zinc lactate, permethol and pro vitamin B5
  • How does Gengigel Oral Rinse taste? Mild and fresh
  • Unique Selling Point: Daily use, non staining gum care that eases the symptoms of gingivitis, prevents its development and revitalises gums

How does Vitis Gingival Mouthrinse work?

Vitis Gingival is cleverly formulated using a number of ingredients that combine to relieve, treat and prevent gingivitis.

The key antibacterial ingredient is cetylpyridinium chloride which prevents the formation of plaque and reduces inflammation. It is supported by the addition of permethol and provitamin B5 which also reduce bleeding and pain. In addition, they revitalise gum tissue and increase resistance to inflammation. 

Finally, xylitol and zinc lactate boost the antiseptic effect of cetylpyridinium chloride whilst the zinc further reduces bleeding and neutralizes bad breath odours.

If all that is not enough, Gingival Mouthwash also contains sodium fluoride to protect teeth as well as gums.

What we like:

  • Alcohol free & non staining
  • Specially formulated to prevent and treat bleeding and inflammation of the gums
  • Long-term use helps to prevent gingival inflammation
  • Inhibits the formation of plaque
  • Neutralises bad breath odours
  • Protects gums and boosts gum health
  • Clever combination of beneficial ingredients to relieve, treat and prevent gingivitis
  • Contains xylitol which inhibits bacterial growth
  • prevents tooth decay
  • fresh flavour

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What we don’t like:

  • Cetylpyridinium chloride is a broad antiseptic which will also kill good bacteria

Who is Gingival Mouthwash best for?

This is a mouthwash specifically engineered to manage, relieve and prevent gingivitis. If you are suffering from sore, bleeding gums and have noticed that you are also developing bad breath, Gingival will provide fast effective relief. 

Used long term, Gingival will prevent symptoms from returning by re-energising gum tissue and helping gums fight back.

It’s also great for anyone who is prone to getting gingivitis. This may be due to diabetes, pregnancy, smoking or because of certain medications.

The only fly in the ointment is that Cetylpyridinium is a broad spectrum antibiotic. So it’s likely to kill beneficial, as well as harmful, bacteria.

Nevertheless, studies show that the combination of Cetylpyridinium and zinc lactate is clinically proven to significantly reduce the severity of gingivitis as well as reducing the bacterial plaque that cause it.

What ingredients are in VITIS Gingival?

Aqua, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Xylitol, Sodium Gluconate, Panthenol, Poloxamer 407, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Benzoate, Zinc Lactate, Sodium Methyl Esculetin Acetate, Sodium Methylparaben, Allantoin, Lactic Acid, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Sodium Saccharin, Aroma, C.I. 16035.

Vitis Gingival The Ultimate Daily Gum Care Alcohol Free Mouthwash, 500 ml
  • Specially formulated to prevent and treat bleeding and inflammation of the gum
  • Long-term use helps to prevent gingival inflammation and bleeding
  • Inhibits the formation of oral biofilm

Curasept Oral Rinse

Curasept Mouthwash 0.2% 200ml - Pack of 2

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Key Features

  • Key ingredients: Chlorhexidine digluconate
  • How does Curasept taste? Refreshingly minty at first, but with a medicinal aftertaste
  • Unique Selling Point: Has an Anti Discolouration System (ADS). So all the benefits of chlorhexidine without the drawbacks.

How does Curasept work?

Like Corsodyl, Curasept contains chlorhexidine to kill bacteria and keep them at bay by adhering to mouth tissues and continues to work after spitting out the mouthwash. 

Dentists love chlorhexidine products. But they know that people are reluctant to use them due to staining and taste disturbance.

And that’s the beauty of Curasept; it has an anti discolouration system (ADS) and is formulated not to interfere with taste. It is clinically proven to significantly reduce discolouration without affecting the action of chlorhexidine. This action is boosted by the addition of Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol that inhibits plaque-causing bacteria.

Curasept is available in two strengths:

Both will treat gingivitis, relieve early symptoms and prevent it developing into periodontal disease.

If your gum disease is a little more serious there is a third option:

  • Curasept ADS 0.2% Implant which contains an additional healing ingredient called hyaluronic acid which is found naturally in the body. It promotes healing, tissue regeneration and quickly relieves soreness (it is formulated to be used after oral surgery.)

What we like

  • Anti-discolouration System (ADS)
  • Does not disturb taste
  • Effectively treats gingivitis
  • Available in different strengths
  • Protects against reinfection by harmful bacteria
  • Alcohol and sodium lauryl sulphate free
  • Contains xylitol
  • Curasept Implant contains an ingredient which promotes healing and cell regeneration and is great for treating periodontal disease and receding gums

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What we don’t like

  • Cost
  • Slight medicinal aftertaste

Who is Curasept best for?

Curasept is a fantastic mouthwash for gum disease. It uses a highly regarded, long lasting antiseptic ingredient (chlorhexidine) which is recommended by dentists. But its ADS system means it does not stain or interfere with taste after use.

Unlike Corsodyl, it contains no ingredients that might irritate soft tissues.

If you’re serious about getting on top of gum disease, this product is well worth the investment. And if you are worried that your gum disease may have progressed to the second stage (periodontitis), or have receding gums, Curasept Implant contains an additional ingredient that is clinically proven to promote healing and tissue regeneration.

What ingredients are in Curasept?

Curasept ADS 205 0.05% Ingredients

Aqua, Xilitol, Propylene Glycol, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor oil, Ascorbic acid, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Aroma, Sodium Fluoride, Poloxamer 407, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Metabisulphite, Sodium Citrate, CI 42090

Curasept ADS 220 0.2% Ingredients:

Aqua, Xylitol, Propylene Glycol, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Aroma, Poloxamer 407, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Citrate, CI 42090

Curasept Implant 0.2% Ingredients

Water, xylitol, hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, ascorbic acid, chlorhexidine digluconate, aroma, poloxamer 407, sodium metabisulfite, sodium citrate, CI 42090.

Curasept Mouthwash 0.2% 200ml - Pack of 2
  • Protects gums and teeth against attack of harmful bacteria
  • Contains Chlorhexidine 0.2%
  • Anti-Discolouration System

Gengigel Mouthrinse

Gengigel Mouthrinse, 150 ml

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Key Features

  • Key ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid
  • How does Gengigel Oral Rinse taste? A bit like Lemsip!
  • Unique Selling Point: Uses an ingredient naturally found in the body which promotes healing and tissue regeneration

How does Gengigel Mouthrinse work?

Gengigel Oral Rinse contains hyaluronic acid which is found in the connective tissue in our bodies. It manages the healing process and is used by doctors to heal wounds and help skin grafts connect and grow. 

When applied orally, it is clinically proven to reduce inflammation and repair and regenerate gum tissue. It can help gum tissue to reconnect to the tooth and close the gaps (periodontal pockets) that open up between your teeth and gums where bacteria multiplies. This helps to ensure that you are less likely to experience further infection.

The healing action of hyaluronic eases the pain associated with gum disease and it’s formulated so that it ‘sticks’ to gums to give a lasting, protective coating.

To inhibit bacteria, Gengigel contains xylitol and alcohol. Alcohol is an effective antibacterial agent but it does kill good bacteria, as well as bad. It can also irritate soft gum tissues.

What we like

  • Promotes natural, rapid healing
  • Helps to repair and regenerate gum tissue and close periodontal pockets
  • Provides fast relief from pain and discomfort
  • Formulated to ‘stick’ to gum tissue to provide a lasting protective barrier
  • Protects from future infection
  • Safe for daily use
  • Contains xylitol which inhibits plaque bacteria

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What we don’t like

  • Cost (see current price)
  • Contains alcohol which some people are sensitive to
  • Personally I dislike the taste which is a bit like Lemsip
  • Thick consistency may take getting used to

Who is Gengigel Mouthrinse best for?

If you suffer from gingivitis or feel you might be developing periodontal disease, you should definitely consider Gengigel Mouthwash

It’s also effective if you have receding gums or damaged oral tissue, have had recent dental surgery or newly fitted braces or dentures. 

Gengigel Mouthrinse relies on an ingredient found naturally in the body which controls the healing process. It has a great rating from users on Amazon, with many comments about the rapid pain relieving and protective properties of the product.

It’s not cheap. But if you suffer from any painful oral condition or receding gums you, like many users, may feel it is an excellent investment. 

What ingredients are in Gengigel Mouthrinse?

Active: Sodium Hyaluronate and Xylitol (a natural sugar alcohol that inhibits plaque-causing bacteria)

Inactive: Aqua, Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dichlorobenzyl Alcohol, Polycarbophil, Aroma (CITROMINT 1/074600), Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Acid Blue 9 (CI42090)

Gengigel Mouthrinse, 150 ml
  • Natural and gentle
  • Contain the highest quality, high molecular weight hyaluronan
  • Useful in helping to manage common oral problems

UltraDEX Daily Oral Rinse

UltraDEX Daily Oral Rinse, Original 500 ml

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Key Features

  • Key ingredients: Sodium monofluorophosphate and sodium chlorite
  • How does UltraDEX taste? Without the flavouring the taste is slightly bitter. Mint flavouring (supplied) can be added. Whether you add the flavouring or not, we found a slight aftertaste lingered for about 30 minutes.
  • Unique Selling Point: Flavour control – you can add the flavour to your own personal taste

How does UltraDEX Daily Oral Rinse work?

UltraDEX is primarily designed to deal with bad breath. However, it also helps to stop the bacterial buildup that causes gum disease.

It contains Sodium monofluorophosphate which not only protects from cavities, but inhibits the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Sodium chlorite is added as an antibacterial and the mix is designed to maintain a healthy Ph balance in the mouth which prevents bacteria from developing and multiplying.

UltraDEX also contains chlorine dioxide which instantly destroys the gases in the gases released by harmful oral bacteria. It is clinically proven to keep breath fresh for 12 hours.

What we like

  • Antibacterial and Ph balanced to make mouth less prone to bacteria
  • Free of sulfates and alcohol so gentle on gums
  • Contains fluoride to prevent cavities and protect enamel
  • Contains no teeth staining ingredients and can help to keep teeth white
  • Unflavoured (with a separate flavour sachet) for anyone sensitive to mint

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What we don’t like

  • No measuring cup or markings in the lid to ensure correct dose
  • Slightly bitter taste, even with flavouring added.

Who is UltraDEX Daily Oral Rinse best for?

If you have noticed that your breath has started to smell and suspect it might be due to gum disease. UltraDEX will act fast to neutralise bad breath, control the buildup of plaque bacteria in your mouth and help to stop early stage gum disease from developing further.

It has no alcohol so is suitable for sensitive mouths. 

The unflavoured version is great for anyone who is sensitive to mint or is using homeopathic remedies.

What ingredients are in UltraDEX Daily Oral Rinse?

Mouthwash: Aqua, Chlorine Dioxide, Trisodium Phosphate, Sodium Monofluorophosphate, (230 ppm Fluoride), Citric Acid, Sodium Chlorite and Sodium Bicarbonate.

Flavour sachet: Polysorbate 20, PEG-60, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Aroma, Menthol, Saccharin, Limonene and Linalool

UltraDEX Daily Oral Rinse, Original 500 ml
  • Free from alcohol and chlorhexidine
  • Clear and unflavoured
  • Contains fluoride

CB12 Mouthwash

CB12 250ML 3 Pack Mint / Menthol Mouthwash

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Key features

  • Key ingredients: A patented formula based on chlorhexidine and zinc acetate
  • How does CB12 taste? The mild mint version is only slightly minty. Mint menthol is stronger but not ‘burning’ strong and neither left an aftertaste
  • Unique Selling Point: 12 hour protection against bad breath

How does CB12 Mouthwash work?

CB12 contains chlorhexidine and zinc acetate. Though specifically formulated to target bad breath, its antibacterial ingredient make it effective for fighting early stage gum disease (gingivitis) too.

In fact, chlorhexidine is professionally acknowledged to be the gold standard oral antibacterial. It quickly kills the plaque bacteria that cause gum disease and it clings to mouth surfaces. This means it continues to work, even after you’ve spat it out.

Zinc acetate neutralises the smelly gases that are given off by harmful bacteria.

What we like

  • Uses gold standard oral antibacterial agent (chlorhexidine) to reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease
  • Uses zinc acetate to neutralize bad breath
  • Contains fluoride so helps to prevent tooth decay
  • No Sulphates so gentle on gums
  • Provides protection against bad breath for 12 hours
  • Cool, mild taste

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What we don’t like

  • Cost
  • Chlorhexidine can cause teeth staining over time, though a whitening version is available
  • Contains alcohol which can dry out the mouth

Who is CB12 Mouthwash best for?

CB12 is engineered to zap bad breath caused by bacterial build up. If you have suddenly noticed that you have bad breath, you might be in the early stages of gum disease.

Used correctly, it will both kill the harmful bacteria causing your problems and instantly neutralise bad breath gases that these bacteria cause. 

Its active ingredient (chlorhexidine) may stain over time, though it is in a much lower concentration than Corsodyl so is not likely to do so. CB12 Whitening is available if this is an issue for you. And if you want a similar, alcohol free mouthwash, try CloSYS antiseptic Oral Rinse.

CB12 Ingredients

0.3% zinc acetate dihydrate, 0.025% chlorhexidine diacetate, aqua, glycerin, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, alcohol, sodium fluoride, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, potassium acesulfame, citric acid and aroma

CB12 250ML 3 Pack Mint / Menthol Mouthwash
  • Ensures first class breath through its powerful and unique patented formula
  • Provides 12 hours protection thanks to its long-lasting effect
  • Boosts confidence with its scientifically proven safe and effective action

CloSYS Antiseptic Oral Rinse

Closys Closys Alcohol-Free Mouthwash, with Flavor Control, 32 Fluid Ounce (no Box)

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Key Features

  • Key ingredients: A patented formula (chlorostan) based on chlorine dioxide
  • How does CloSYS Rinse Taste?: Bland. Mint flavouring (supplied) can be added and is not overpowering.
  • Unique Selling Point: Patented formula

How does CloSYS Oral Rinse work?

CloSYS is an antibacterial mouthwash that also targets bad breath.

Bad breath is one of the first signs that gum disease may be developing. If this is the case for you, CloSYS deploys a patented system called chloralstan. 

This system is based on chlorine dioxide. It’s clinically proven to significantly reduce plaque bacteria, prevent it from building up again and eliminate the odours caused by harmful bacteria.

The solution is naturally activated by the saliva in your mouth. 

CloSYS is an alcohol free unflavoured mouthwash. It comes with a dropper and natural peppermint oil that you can add to the mouthwash, or leave out. 

What we like

  • Kills 99% of harmful oral bacteria
  • Ph balanced to make mouth less prone to bacteria
  • Alcohol and sulphate free so gentle on gums
  • Contains fluoride so prevents cavities and protects tooth enamell
  • No teeth staining ingredients

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What we don’t like

  • Cost – though this is for a large 945ml bottle
  • Only available in this large size

Who is CloSYS Oral Rinse best for?

CloSYS is an American product and is American Dental Association approved. It is one of the leaders when it comes to fighting bad breath. 

However, its formula also makes it effective at treating the early signs of gum disease and preventing harmful bacteria from returning.

Its mild, alcohol free mix also makes it a great choice for anyone with a sensitive mouth and (as it’s unflavoured) it’s great for anyone with mint intolerance or is using homeopathic remedies.

CloSYS Oral Rinse ingredients

Rinse: Water, stabilized chlorine dioxide, trisodium phosphate, citric acid. Flavor dropper ingredients: natural mineral oil and natural peppermint.

Nature’s Answer PerioBrite Mouthwash

Nature's Answer Periowash Mouthwash 480 ml

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Key features

  • Key ingredients: Coenzyme Q10 and Folic Acid
  • How does PerioBrite taste? Fairly strong herbal/medicinal taste that’s fresh and slightly minty
  • Unique Selling Point: all natural – yet created by a dentist

How does Nature’s Answer PerioBrite Mouthwash work?

Nature’s Answer PerioBrite contains natural antibacterial ingredients that help to reduce the amount of plaque bacteria in the mouth.

Its main ingredient is Phytoplenolin. This sounds like a chemical but is actually an extract from Centipeda, a natural plant remedy used by aboriginal Australians. Combined with the enzyme CoQ10, phytoplenolin relieves inflammation, prevents damage to oral tissue cells and energises cells so that gum tissue health is restored.

The action of Phytoplenolin is supported by the use of folic acid and clove which also boost oral tissue health. And there is a treasure trove of other natural antibiotic botanical extracts which cleanse, refresh and moisturise the mouth.

Lastly it is sweetened with xylitol. This is a natural sugar alcohol that bacteria waste energy trying to feed on. This causes them to die out, leading to a serious reduction in harmful bacteria in the mouth.

What we like

  • All natural, yet formulated by a dentist
  • Designed to boost oral health at a cellular level
  • No sulphates
  • Cruelty free
  • Alcohol, gluten and fluoride free
  • Contains xylitol

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What we don’t like

  • Cost – each dose is 25ml, that’s a lot of mouthwash per swish!

Who is Nature’s Answer PerioBrite Mouthwash suitable for?

PerioBrite Natural Mouthwash is a good choice if you want to use an all natural product. It promotes oral health at a deep down cellular level.

It contains an array of natural botanical ingredients that have long standing, recognised oral health benefits. And many of these stimulate and energize tissue cells to work to optimum levels to keep your mouth naturally healthy.

If you want an all natural product that promotes gum health and has the kudos of being formulated by a dental professional, you should consider investing in Nature’s Answer PerioBrite.

However, we do recommend you check with your dentist that the product is working effectively.

What ingredients are in Nature’s Answer Periobrite Mouthwash?

Phytoplenolin (Centiped Cunninghamii Extract), Bio-Chelated Extracts: Calendula Flower, Chamomile Flower, Echinacea Purpurea Tops, Gotu Kola Herb, Prickly Ash Bark, Olive Leaf, Grapefruit Seed, Black Walnut Green Hull, Green Tea Leaf, Goldenseal Root, Essential Oils Of Peppermint, Oregano, Rosemary, Lavender, Cinnamon, Clove, Lemon, Eucalyptus & Thyme, Bio-Saponin (Quillaja Extract, Yucca Extract, Sarsaparilla Root Extract, Wild Yam Root Extract), Xylitol Folic Acid, Cinnamon Bark Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis), Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone). Purified Water, Vegetable Glycerin.

Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment

Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment Mouthwash 500ml

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Key Features

  • Key ingredients: Ethyl Lauroyl Arginate
  • How does Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment taste? Minty with the familiar Listerine kick
  • Unique Selling Point: Britain’s number one selling brand

How does Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment work?

The key ingredient in this Listerine mouthwash is Ethyl Lauroyl Arginate which is clinically proven to reduce plaque bacteria and quickly relieve the symptoms of gingivitis.

It forms a protective coating over tooth enamel which stops plaque bacteria sticking to tooth surfaces. This gives gums a chance to heal and return to a healthier state. The coating lasts, even after the mouthwash has been spat out.

According to the British Dental Journal Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment can cut gingival bleeding by half if used as directed and after correct brushing.

What we Like

  • Contains an ingredient clinically proven to significantly reduce plaque bacteria
  • Quickly relieves gingivitis symptoms – especially bleeding gums
  • Can be used long term as does not stain
  • Cost
  • Credible brand

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What we don’t Like

  • We found the taste a little too intense
  • Contains alcohol – meaning it has a bit of a tingle and can dry out the mouth and irritate sensitive gum tissue

Who is Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment suitable for?

If you want a reasonably priced maintenance mouthwash that is clinically proven to rapidly relieve and fight gingivitis as well as keeping it at bay, this is an excellent option.

However, if you don’t like that familiar kick you get with Listerine products, or you find you are sensitive to mouthwashes containing alcohol, this is not for you. You may instead want to give Colgate Plax (reviewed next) a try.

What ingredients are in Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment?

Active Ingredient: Ethyl Lauroyl Arginate HCI (LAE) 0.147% w/w. Other ingredients: Purified Water, Sorbitol, Alcohol, Glycerin, Poloxamer 407, Aroma, Benzoic Acid, Sucralose, Sodium Benzoate.

Listerine Advanced Defence Gum Treatment Mouthwash 500ml
  • Clinically proven to treat gum disease.
  • Medical device
  • Recyclable bottle*. Contains 50% recycled plastic. *Safety seal and label excluded

Colgate Plax Soft Mint Mouthwash

Colgate Plax Cool Mint Mouthwash 500ml

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Key features

  • Key ingredients: Cetylpyridinium Chloride
  • How does Colgate Plax Soft Mint taste? Cool menthol flavour
  • Unique Selling Point: 24/7 Bad breath control and long lasting ‘cool’ feeling

How does Colgate Plax Soft Mint Mouthwash work?

Colgate Plax Soft Mint contains the antibacterial agent cetylpyridinium chloride which inhibits growth of bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath.

It also contains fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and fight cavities and has a cool, fresh menthol flavour with a light kick. The menthol helps to mask the smell of bad breath.

What we like

  • Contains fluoride
  • Has a strong, refreshing menthol flavour
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate free
  • Alcohol free
  • Can be used long term as no staining ingredients
  • Price
  • Helps to protect against plaque and gingivitis

More Info

What we don’t like

  • Only masks, rather than neutralises bad breath odours
  • Some users find the taste has too much of a kick

Who is Colgate Plax Soft Mint Mouthwash suitable for?

If you are in the very early stages of gum disease, or you are looking for a good budget mouthwash that you can use on a long term basis to keep gum disease at bay, this is a great option. 

It contains fluoride, inhibits the growth of germs that cause bad breath and help to mask bad breath odours.

What ingredients are in Colgate Plax Soft Mint Mouthwash?

Aqua, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Poloxamer 407, Aroma, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Fluoride 0.05%, Sodium Saccharin, Menthol, CI 42051

Colgate Plax Cool Mint Mouthwash 500ml
  • SUPER FRESH: Experience instant, long-lasting freshness with Colgate Plax Cool Mint Mouthwash
  • NO BURN SENSATION: Because this fresh breath mouthwash is designed for a no burn sensation with 0% alcohol*,...
  • PLAQUE PROTECTION: Colgate Plax provides 24/7** plaque protection, so you know you’re doing a great job...

What is gum disease and why does gum disease occur?


The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis which is an inflammation of the gingiva – the tissue holding teeth in their sockets. 

Inflammation is part of our immune response. It’s a warning something’s wrong. The gingiva inflame and swell to try to protect the body from invasion by plaque bacteria. 

Plaque build up is the main cause of gingivitis but other factors make it more likely to occur. These include:

  • Hormonal change
  • Chronic illness and certain medications
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Overlapping or crowded teeth
  • Genetics

Why Is It Important For Gingivitis To Be Treated?

Gingivitis can be quickly dealt with but should never be ignored. If it is, it may develop into more serious periodontal disease that may not only cause tooth loss, but also threaten your overall systemic health.

If plaque’s not removed, it hardens into tartar which cements itself to tooth surfaces in areas your toothbrush can’t reach, including below the gum line. This may cause gaps to form between the teeth and gums (periodontal pockets) and gums may then become infected. 

Tartar buildup

This is exactly what your body was trying to prevent by swelling the gums. And what it was trying to warn you about by making your gums bleed and feel sore.

Once the gums do become infected, you may develop periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss and the spread of bacteria into your bloodstream. This in turn can then affect your general health.

But take heart!  This progression can be brought to a halt if you take prompt action. And the mouthwash you choose can make a significant difference in stopping gingivitis in its tracks.

Can Mouthwash treat Gingivitis?

The right mouthwash can remedy and prevent gingivitis … IF it’s part of a consistent oral hygiene regime and IF you start with a clean canvas. 

By this we mean that if tartar has already built up along your gum line it needs to be removed. The only way to do this safely and effectively is at the dentist!

Once the tartar is gone it’s vital to brush AND floss correctly to regularly remove plaque before it gets the chance to build up again.

We provide more general information on flossing below, but for now what should you look for in a mouthwash for gum disease?

What should you look for in a mouthwash for Gum Disease?

  • Antibiotic ingredients that treat the gum line where plaque bacteria can build up. These include chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride and sodium chlorite
  • Alcohol free formulations – alcohol can increase inflammation and soreness if you are sensitive to it, as well as drying out the mouth  
  • Patented formulas – this shows that the manufacturer has spent time and money researching the effectiveness and safety of the product
  • Clinical studies that demonstrate the efficacy of the product
  • Ingredients that relieve inflammation and/or encourage healing, for example hyaluronic acid, cetylpyridinium chloride, permathol and vitamin B5
  • And if bad breath is one of your symptoms look for ingredients that neutralise bad breath odours such as zinc acetate or chlorine dioxide

A programme to treat and prevent gum disease at home

Using the best mouthwash for gum disease is only one line of defense. You must also brush correctly at least twice a day. Increase this to after every meal if you are prone to gingivitis or have a family history of gum disease.

But brushing and using mouthwash must form part of a wider oral health routine that aims to protect your gums.

  • Floss as well as brushing! No matter how good your brush is, there are tight spaces in your mouth it can’t reach – including under the gumline. So you must floss once a day to treat and prevent further gingivitis. I hate string floss so I use interdental brushes after every meal. I also have a water flosser, which is a fun, fast and easy way to floss. You can even get cordless water flossers that can be used in the shower for maximum convenience.
  • Use a specialist toothbrush. Think about upgrading to a Sonicare Series 3 which promises healthier gums in just 2 weeks
  • Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3 months to ensure you are always removing as much plaque as possible
  • Regularly check your gums:  Any changes in colour or appearance, see your dentist or dental hygienist
  • See your dentist twice a year for a deep clean and general check up. If you have weakened immunity, a family history of gum disease or are at risk of gum disease due to other factors, then more regular check ups may be necessary. Whilst there, let him or her know what products you are using and ask them to check if they are working effectively
  • Lastly, eat healthily. In particular, cut down on sugary, starchy foods. Sugar encourages the growth of bacteria and the production of bacterial acids.

Conclusion and Best Buys

The main cause of gum disease is plaque buildup – usually because of a lack of consistency in your oral health regime.

The early stage of gum disease is gingivitis – an inflammation of the gingiva tissues which attach the tooth to the gum. Symptoms include bleeding gums, soreness/redness, bad breath and a rapid build-up of tartar (yellow, hardened plaque along the gumline). Tartar can cause gum tissue to separate from the tooth creating pockets that are ideal breeding grounds for more harmful plaque bacteria.

Vitis Gingival The Ultimate Daily Gum Care Alcohol Free Mouthwash, 500 ml

If you have tartar build up you must get this professionally removed as quickly as possible. Otherwise, choose a mouthwash that is specifically designed to treat gingivitis. Our top choice is Vitis Gingival because it doesn’t stain so you are more likely to be consistent about using it.

If bad breath is your worst symptom, our top choice is UltraDEX as it is reasonably priced and does not include staining ingredients so, again, you are more likely to use it routinely.

UltraDEX Daily Oral Rinse, Original 500 ml

If your symptoms are more severe (you feel your teeth are loosening and your gums receding) or you have any questions you should first of all seek professional advice and get a really deep clean.

After that, the mouthwash you use should promote healing as well as targeting plaque bacteria. On balance (but it’s a close thing) our top pick is Curasept ADS 220 or Curasept Implant. This is because Curasept uses gold standard ingredients for tackling gum disease but is formulated not to stain or disturb taste after use.

Colgate Plax Cool Mint Mouthwash 500ml

When your all your symptoms are gone, stick to the oral health routine we set out above and use a good maintenance mouthwash. We choose Colgate Plax Soft Mint over Listerine Advanced Gum Health. This is mainly because it does not contain alcohol. However, if you like that tingly burn, and feel the alcohol is not drying out your mouth, Listerine Advanced Gum Health is otherwise very cleverly formulated to maintain gum health.

1 thought on “Best Mouthwash for Gum Disease and Gingivitis”

  1. This is an excellent site and important information that you have put together which I had not realised! I have been using the Listerine one for years though I find the alcohol in it problematic and occasionally Corsodyl Superdrug version but seems that Curasept Implant is one I should be trying since I do have already recessed gums and I’m getting quite worried about them at this point!


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