Drugs Q & A

Can You Gargle With Hydrogen Peroxide?

Gargling is the act of bubbling liquid in the mouth. It is also the washing of one’s mouth and throat with a liquid that is kept in motion by breathing through it with a gurgling sound. Many people gargle before or after brushing their teeth as part of a dental hygiene routine.

What is Hydrogen peroxide?

The common hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic used on the skin to prevent infection of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. It may also be used as a mouth rinse to help remove mucus or to relieve minor mouth irritation (e.g., due to canker/cold sores, gingivitis). This product works by releasing oxygen when it is applied to the affected area. The release of oxygen causes foaming, which helps to remove dead skin and clean the area.

More broadly, hydrogen peroxide can typically be found in four categories of dilution, each of them used for specific purposes:

  • 3% hydrogen peroxide. Also referred to as household hydrogen peroxide, this type is typically used to clean or disinfect minor wounds. It’s the one you’re most likely to find in your local supermarket or drugstore.
  • 6–10% hydrogen peroxide. This concentration is most commonly used to bleach hair.
  • 35% hydrogen peroxide. Commonly referred to as food grade hydrogen peroxide, this variety is typically found in health food stores and promoted as a cure to various ailments and diseases.
  • 90% hydrogen peroxide. Also known as industrial hydrogen peroxide, it’s typically used to bleach paper and textiles, make foam rubber or rocket fuel, or as a substitute for chlorine in water and sewage treatment.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide as mouthwash?

Yes, you can use household hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash. According to WebMD, If you are using this product as a mouth rinse, mix with an equal amount of water before using it. Swish in the mouth over the affected area for at least 1 minute, then spit out. Do not swallow this product. Rinse up to 4 times daily or as directed by your dentist or doctor.

Can you gargle with hydrogen peroxide?

No, gargling household hydrogen peroxide increases the risk of swallowing the solution. Accidentally swallowing a small amount of hydrogen peroxide is usually okay and won’t cause much damage, but be on the lookout for certain side effects. These may include Stomach pains or cramps and difficulty breathing.

However, ingesting larger amounts or higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can cause ulcers, a perforated gut, and mouth, throat, and stomach burns. In severe cases, it may result in breathing problems, fainting, and even death.

Food-grade hydrogen peroxide is over 10 times more concentrated than the household variety. Moreover, instructions on how to dilute it vary from one seller to another, and its safety hasn’t been evaluated.

You may find useful information on: Can I Inject Hydrogen Peroxide Into My Veins?

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