Hydrogen Peroxide as an oral rinse

Hydrogen Peroxide as an oral rinse

Mississauga residents have many choices for oral rinses. Hydrogen peroxide rinse is a gentle antiseptic used to ease minor mouth tenderness (e.g., attributable to canker/cold sores, gum inflammation, dentures, orthodontic appliances).

Hydrogen peroxide was developed in 1818 by French chemist Louis Jacques Thénard (1777–1857), and dental practices have used it for nearly 100 years. It’s safe for most as an oral rinse in low concentrations. It operates by discharging oxygen. Hydrogen peroxide is an “oxidizing” oral rinse (e.g., Peroxyl, 1.5%). It destroys anaerobic bacteria and also has a mechanical cleansing action as it foams when it touches debris in the mouth. It is often used for short periods to treat “acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis”. Side effects with prolonged use might occur, including the growth of the “lingual papillae”. St. Lawrence Dentistry provides hydrogen peroxide rinse at its clinic for both patient and staff use.


You can benefit from hydrogen peroxide if you don’t use it too often and the concentration is appropriate. Especially important- don’t swallow it!

You can find hydrogen peroxide in 1% and 3% solutions. As an oral rinse, the strength used should be no more than 3%. Hydrogen peroxide has both antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is also a mild antiseptic and can be used as a household cleaning agent and treats minor burns and cuts. However, it has the potential to burn the skin if used in inappropriate concentrations.

Hydrogen peroxide as an oral rinse can calm irritated throats. It can help you fight off bacterial attacks linked to sore throats. Also, when the phlegm in your mouth comes into contact with hydrogen peroxide, it generates a froth. This foam makes the phlegm less sticky and easier to drain. For sore throats, Dr. Hawryluk Jr. recommends a solution of 3% concentration (maximum) and weaken it with two parts of water. Don’t swish hydrogen peroxide for more than 30 seconds, and make sure not to consume any solutions.


Hydrogen Peroxide can also help treat gum disease due to its antiseptic properties. Its use reduces the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis in the mouth – which causes gingivitis. Plaque that accumulates on the teeth contains a slimy layer of bacteria called a “biofilm’. Hydrogen peroxide liberates oxygen that helps destroy the bacteria. One advantage of swishing with a hydrogen peroxide solution is it can reach the rear of the oral cavity and spots that may be difficult to access with dental floss. Please talk to Dr. Hawryluk to see if hydrogen peroxide is suitable for you.


Hydrogen peroxide can help remedy canker sores: When dabbing hydrogen peroxide on a cut or sore, it foams and discharges oxygen, which has a cleaning effect. By the same mechanism, hydrogen peroxide can also help diminish the spread of COVID: Hydrogen peroxide inactivates corona and influenza viruses. A study showed that in humans that hydrogen peroxide could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces. For patients, we recommend using 1% hydrogen peroxide mouthwash before appointments to augment the protection of frontline health personnel and everyone in our office.


Hydrogen peroxide can treat oral thrush – fungal contamination of the mouth. It is not infectious and is usually favorably treated with antifungal medication. Another name for it is oral candidosis (or candidiasis) – due to being caused by a group of yeasts called Candida. The antiseptic benefits can help you keep your mouth clean if you have oral thrush and relieve symptoms. If you contract a light case of thrush after taking medicines, consuming yogurt, or taking over-the-counter “acidophilus capsules”, a delicate toothbrush and washing your mouth with a diluted 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution numerous times a day could help.


There are some risks and disadvantages of using hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse. It can be toxic when ingested: Swallowing too much can cause serious side effects, including burning the digestive tract, illness, and vomiting. It can cause Black hairy tongue: This is a harmless and passing oral condition that appears a lot more detrimental than it is. It can occur when using mouth rinses with oxidizing agents such as peroxide. You don’t want to use a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide because it can infiltrate the enamel, dentin, and collagen-rich tissue found within the dentin, degrading it. Please talking to our staff at our Mississauga dental office to see what oral rinse is best for you.

Dr. Hawryluk doesn’t recommend HP rinses as a whitening solution because “to obtain meaningful teeth whitening results with a hydrogen peroxide-based mouth rinses, you would need high concentrations which could harm your oral mucosa”. While dentists use hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening, a home mouth rinse will not likely have a very noticeable effect on tooth color, as the percentage used by dentists is much higher (around 25%). It is not advisable to attempt to use a professional strength of hydrogen peroxide at home as you could end up seriously burning your gums or skin, permanently damaging your teeth, or injuring your internal organs.

Whitening Your Teeth at Home

We are a Mississauga dental office based in the Port Credit District. It would be our pleasure to serve you. Please drop by!

Reference (Covid-19: what treatments are being investigated? 02 July 2020, Andrews S Ayettey, The BMJ)

Dr. Allan Hawryluk
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Dr. Allan Hawryluk

Allan Hawryluk Jr. is a Mississauga-based dentist who has built a reputation for comprehensive dental care. Born and raised in Port Credit, he returned after completing his dental residency in 2003 at the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center. He feels privileged to serve the community and is committed to maintaining our clinic standards set by his late father - Dr. Allan R. Hawryluk (Sr).