Cosmetic and therapeutic mouthwashes exist for people around the world. People can buy therapeutic mouthwashes in the store or can be modified via prescription Meanwhile, cosmetic mouthwash may relieve bad breath for a short period of time and in place of it, will be a refreshing taste but it does not have any active ingredients while therapeutic does.

Ingredients in a therapeutic mouthwash may include: cetylpyridinium chloride (which controls plaque and gingivitis growth), fluoride (which is proven to prevent tooth decay) and peroxide (which is used in whitening mouthwashes and toothpaste). Mouthwash is also helpful because it can access places in the mouth where a toothbrush cannot. One of the most common uses of therapeutic mouthwash is to treat halitosis, which means bad breath, which is secondary to the bacterial buildup in the mouth that ultimately causes inflammation and gives off noxious odors.  It is also caused from the buildup by food debris within the mouth that was not removed due to lack of dental hygiene.  Many people with halitosis have cavities or gum disease. However, even in the absence of halitosis, essentially every person has buildups of bacteria in the mouth, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Helicobacter pylori, Streptococcus mutans (main one that causes disease), and Porphyromonas gingivalis.

Studies have been performed regarding the efficacy of different types of mouthwash and have shown to provide effective control of bacterial growth as well as decreased pain following dental procedures due to the inhibition of the body’s natural inflammatory response to bacteria in the mouth. Another popular type of mouthwash is organic mouthwash, as it only contains natural ingredients and the human mouth contains beneficial bacteria and organic mouthwash only removes the hazardous bacteria because it does not contain alcohol and chlorine dioxide. Xylitol, oils, and plant-based extracts are all ingredients in a typical organic mouthwash. While Listerine is the most popular ‘name brand’ mouthwash, and it contains alcohol which its role is to reduce hydrogen bonds in protein structures, which causes denaturation.