Is your mouthwash staining your teeth? Do you use Corsodyl?

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Corsodyl Mouthwash, aka Chlorhexidine Gluconate.. do you use it? Why?




Recently, I have had alot of my patients coming to see me worried about stains on their teeth. Now, these are my regular patients, they do not have gum disease, and their mouths are generally spick and span (they see a dentist every 6 months). BUT some of them have fallen prey to some very slick advertising and started to use Corsodyl mouth rinse. This isn’t always apparent, but after looking at the stains in their mouths, I can usually identify Corsodyl stains from a mile off…


So whats the deal with Corsodyl, what makes it so difference to normal mouthrinses, like Listerine, Aquafresh, Colgate Plax etc..


Well, Corsodyl, has the active ingredient of Chlorhexidine gluconate (CG for short). Now this stuff, has got a VERY good track record on treating active gum disease. What this stuff does is actually stick to your teeth, gums, tongue and inhibit bacteria. Its fancy scientific classification is… “ a cationic bisbiguanide.” The CG opens up bacterial cell walls and kills them, less bacteria in the mouth, less inflammation, less gum disease. Thats the basics of it.


However, there are side effects, these include discoluration of fillings and teeth, staining of your tongue, altered taste sensation, metallic taste and increased calculus/tartar formation. This is not a good thing. Interestingly, looking at the Corsodyl website, staining of the teeth is listed as a side effect, the recommendation is to brush your teeth really well to remove the staining. This does not work!


 A famous Corsodyl advert I see on the Tube


The great ad campaigns from Corsodyl; If your eye bleeds, you’d see your optician, same thing for your teeth! Has led to alot of patients, self medicating CG mouth rinses. You can also go crazy, with mouthrinses, toothpastes, floss, and all other bits and bobs that go in your mouth under the Corsodyl brand.


In my opinion, as a dental professional, Corsodyl is a great product but should only be used, if your dentist recommends it. There are lots of scientific studies, making CG a gold standard, for treating gum disease. But if you do not have gum disease should you be using it? If you notice a small amount of bleeding when you brush your teeth, ( which is very common!) dont self-medicate, come along and see your friendly dentist, and ask him/her do I need to use Corsodyl? Or are my gums bleeding because I need to brush better….



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