Chlorhexidine is an antibacterial used as an antiseptic which is a common ingredient in mouthwashes, were it’s used to help reduce dental plaque and oral bacteria.
However it is also important to notice that using chlorhexidine can have side effects such as teeth staining or taste loss, especially for bitter and salty flavors.
So is chlorhexidine safe for your teeth?
The truth is using a mouthwash with a concentration of Chlorhexidine of up to 0,12% can be greatly beneficial when prescribed by your dentist towards a concrete goal like stopping a mild case of gingivitis or recovering your natural mouth organic tissue after a major intervention, but should not be used on a daily basis for more than a few weeks.
Are the side effects of chlorhexidine reversible?
If you need to use a mouthwash with a high concentration of chlorhexidine for a long period of time, or if you have been using it without realizing about the potential side effects you might have started to notice a slight loss in your ability to taste bitter and salty flavors and also a slight to moderate color change of your teeth. It’s important to notice that chlorhexidine stains both natural enamel as well as porcelains and other composites.
If you are experiencing any of this symptoms don’t panic, hopefully they are all reversible.
Quitting the use of your chlorhexidine mouthwash completely is the first step towards regaining your taste sensibility. After you’ve stopped using the mouthwash you should start seeing an improvement in your ability to taste bitter and salty flavors in only a few days and you can expect to be fully recovered in just a couple of weeks.
As for the stained teeth, most of the times stains generated by the use of chlorhexidine are only superficial, and the use of any mild whitening products such as teeth whitening toothpastes or natural charcoal powders should bring back the natural color of your teeth. If these don’t work you might need to visit your dentist for a more in depth cleaning, but in most cases that won’t be necessary.