Why Does Mouthwash Burn? Finding Relief From It!


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If you are wondering why mouthwash burns, then you must be a little frustrated with these helpful products. Well, it is very common to feel tingling and burning sensations when using mouthwashes. Also, many people use mouthwashes for different reasons, and they all experience these small burning sensations. Interestingly, many people are used to these feelings when they use different kinds of mouthwashes. 

However, many people still wonder why they burn because they have been made for good reasons. Well, if you too wonder this question, then you should know that it is the ingredients that are used in mouthwashes that cause you burning sensations when you use them. Here, we will explore these ingredients in mouthwashes and their uses that will help you understand why they burn.

Benefits Of Using Mouthwash And Their Ingredients

Benefits Of Using Mouthwash

Here are some of the main benefits of using mouthwash:

  • Kills bacteria that cause plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath
  • Flushes food debris away helping to clean areas a toothbrush can’t reach
  • Freshens breath for an oral refresh and confidence boost
  • Prevent and reduce gum inflammation and periodontal pockets
  • Some varieties strengthen enamel to prevent cavities and tooth decay
  • Contains fluoride which supports tooth enamel health
  • Leaves the mouth and gums feeling cool, clean, and tingly
  • Temporarily dulls nerve sensation in irritated areas or sores
  • Some brands whiten teeth over time removing surface stains
  • Can aid recovery after dental procedures like tooth extractions

Mouthwash is a liquid that you swirl, gargle, or hold in your mouth for different reasons. Mouthwashes come in two main types: cosmetic and therapeutic. People commonly use cosmetic ones to freshen up their mouths and improve the smell of their breath. On the other hand, your dentist may prescribe therapeutic mouthwashes for your dental care.

People use mouthwashes for different reasons: some use them to improve bad breath conditions, while some use them for situations like gingivitis and tooth decay. Interestingly, some people use mouthwashes just because they taste good and freshen their minds. However, you should know that mouthwash is not something you take inside your body. Also, you usually keep a few drops of mouthwashes in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out.

Besides, you should know that many ingredients are used to make mouthwash. Even though many ingredients are used in mouthwashes, alcohol, menthol, and essential oils are popular among common people.

However, there are other important components, such as benzydamine, which is used for conditions, and betamethasone, which is used for inflammatory conditions. Also, there is cetylpyridinium chloride, used for bad breath conditions. 

Additionally, there is chlorhexidine digluconate, which is good for plaque. Moreover, some essential oils are used in mouthwashes. These ingredients are used for good purposes and improve the effectiveness of mouthwashes. However, some of these ingredients, like alcohol, can cause burning sensations when you use mouthwashes.

Why Does Mouthwash Burn My Tongue?

Mouthwash Burn Tongue

✔ It Is Possible Due To The Presence Of Alcohol

If your mouthwashes when using, then alcohol can be the main reason for this. Now, you may think that alcohol is used to kill bacteria, but it is not true. Alcohol in mouthwashes helps other ingredients to be absorbed and performed more efficiently. However, this alcohol also becomes a reason for burning sensations when you use mouthwashes. 

Most of the mouthwashes available in the market have alcohol content. Also, some companies use higher alcohol amounts, and if you use such mouthwashes, then there is more chance of burning. Alcohol-free mouthwashes are also available on the market, but they may cause little burning sensations as well.

Menthol In Mouthwashes Can Cause Burning Sensations

Menthol is used in mouthwashes to add mint flavors, and you may like to use mouthwash due to its flavor. However, menthol can be the reason for your burning sensations when you use mouthwashes. Also, you should know that menthol comes from mint or peppermint plants and has some antibacterial properties. 

Thus, menthol is not only helpful to improve the flavor of mouthwashes but also to fight germs in your mouth. Also, menthol is present in almost all kinds of mouthwashes. So, you should try to get used to these burning sensations because they won’t harm you, and they are for a few minutes only.

When You Are Suffering From Underlying Health Conditions

Well, ingredients in mouthwashes can indeed be the reasons for burning sensations. However, it is also true that it can happen when you suffer from dental issues. Thus, if you are suffering from mouth ulcers, then you are at a higher risk of feeling burning sensations while using mouthwashes. Even rinsing your mouth with normal water can burn when you suffer from mouth ulcers. 

Also, mouthwashes are expected to cause burning sensations because of their ingredients. Thus, the chances of burning sensations go higher when you use mouthwash while suffering from dental issues like mouth ulcers, plaque, and bleeding gums. Additionally, if you often feel sensitivity in your tooth, then you can experience burning sensations when using mouthwashes.

The Use Of Essential Oils In Mouthwashes

Essential oils like peppermint oil and eucalyptus oils are important ingredients for many mouthwashes. Also, they are added to help you manage bad breath conditions. Moreover, essential oils can also help fight bacteria in your mouth. However, these essential oils can also cause burning sensations.

How Do You Get Rid Of Burning Sensations When Using Mouthwashes?

When you want to get rid of burning sensations when using mouthwashes, you should focus on mainly two things. First, notice if there is something wrong with your mouth, like ulcers, sensitivity, and plaque. If you are suffering from these problems, then stop using mouthwashes for a few days and manage these conditions first.

Second, choose a mouthwash that has less or no alcohol content. You can easily get alcohol-free mouthwashes from the market. Moreover, you can consult with your dentist for the best recommendations for mouthwash.

Final words

Many people use mouthwashes daily for different reasons. Mouthwashes are helpful in many ways for dental care. For example, if your breath smells bad all the time, then you can use mouthwash. Also, your dentist may prescribe mouthwashes when you are suffering from certain dental issues like plaque. However, it is very common to feel burning sensations when using mouthwashes. 

Also, many people have gotten used to this feeling when using mouthwashes. Still, many people want to know the reasons for these burning sensations. Above, we have explored the potential reasons why mouthwashes cause burning sensations. Thus, understand the facts and choose the best type of mouthwash for better experience and results.


Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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