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DID MY DENTIST"S MOUTHWASH ADVICE CAUSE ME TO HAVE A STROKE ? Killing good bacteria cited as dangerous..

Updated on January 29, 2014

DAN, DAN THE DENTIST MAN . The Case of the Good Bacteria Murders.

Let me make 2 things crystal clear at the outset ! Firstly, as explained at length in an earlier Hub, I question the right of modern Dentst"s to classify themselves in the true meaning of the word, as Professional people. It has long seemed to me that this "profession" long ago forsook, as a Primary responsibility, the care of patients and replaced it with "a gateway to wealth"

That is not to say that Dentists do not take proper care of their patients but it is to say that it now comes behind making money in their mantras. The cost of Dental care in the UK is, even with the aid of the NHS ridiculously high and explains why so many UK residents take" Dental Tourism" to their hearts and go to Hungary, Turkey, Poland etc where they get top quality care at affordable prices. Many ,however cannot afford either time or money for such trips and are stuck with the UK system which enriches Dentists, in my mind, unfairly.

Having put down that marker ,let me now exonerate my own personal Dentist from the above. He is a young chap down the bottom of the prctice I use and as such, his share in the profits will no doubt be minimal as he strives to climb up the Dental food-chain and thus become a much fatter cat than he is at present.

Dan is not from the UK but he has fitted seemlessly into our Society. He has a great patient manner, is a good technician and has earned my confidence, and no doubt that of others ,since he took over care of our teeth.

So, it came as a shock to me to read only last week, that an important piece of advice Dan gave me last year could have lead to me having a stroke in August. Dan has shown me how to use good sense and care for my teeth, the need for which intensifies as one gets older.

As a youngster, after a tortuous session in an old fashioned dentist"s chair, I was relieved to hear him say to my father that I had good teeth that would last a lifetime with sensible care. Trouble was he did not specify what care and thus in 1960 as a 20 yearold, I was in need of extensive repair .

Fortunately, being at College, I was not alone and so heard good tales from friends about a particular Dentist. Spurred by this information and also being made aware that I had to get treatment before I became 21 or face charges under the NHS system, I plucked up courage and went for treatment. Not a moment too soon either it became clear.

Several visits later, this excellent Dentist pronounced me done and I went away with a mouth still full of teeth plus 21 fillings !! Testimony to that man that I still walk about with the majority of his work still in my mouth to this very day.

Regular visits to the Dentist at ever increasing NHS rates have helped of course but poor old Dan the Dentist Man has to deal with the effects and ravages of time. In this he does sterling work. He has introduced me to the world of flossing amongst other things to bolster the ageing molars condition. Despite this, last year, I noticed some blood when brushing the teeth and a visit to Dan confirmed gum infection.

To counter this Dan suggested two thigs ! First to use a particular brand of toothpaste, sensitive to teeth like mine now, and second to use a non alcoholic mouthwash to kill off the infection in gums and mouth generally. I took both pieces of advice to heart and acted upon them.

Thus, quite shortly after doing that, the bleeding stopped and all was well and on my next visit, Dan expressed his satisfaction at the improving situation.. All it seemed was fine and dandy until in August I was hit by a stroke.

Fortunately for me, though the MRI scan showed it had hit the front temporal lobe of my brain, I seem to have suffered no long term adverse effects. I can still excercise and have my mobility as before. My speech is untouched and my general health as good as I can remember. I put this down to prompt action by my wife in summoning an Ambulance and then from the excellent care and treatment afforded to me byStroke Team at SOUTHEND UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL.



As I explained, Dan the Dentist, had strong views on the use of mouthwashes. To begin with he advised they were essential to proting good health in the mouth and especially, in my case, the gums. However, there was a caveat to this. Many mouthwashes contain alcohol and Dan urged me to eschew these. He advised me that I should, without delay seek out wahes containing CHLOR-HEXIDINE One particular brand, CORSODYL,was mentioned as an easily purchased wash that fitted the bill.

I puchased same item, noting it to be 3 times the cost of those containing alcohol and armed also with the branded sensitive tooth paste began the rehibilitation of mouth and gums.To my great delight, Dan"s advice worked well and fat. Bleeding soon stopped, mouth fresh and settled, what was to say not to continue taking the items that had brought on this welcome transformation. Then a couple of months after I had the stroke !

I was not asked in Hospital or afterwards anything about my oral care regime and until this story hit me, never linked it to the stroke. Now it seems foolish not to. CHLOR-HEXIDINE is cast here as the villain of the peace and not, as previously assumed, the saviour.


A recent small but learned study, involving volunteers has revealed that those taking the brand identified above saw their blood pressure rise swiftly.. Blood pressure rises, even in small amounts is identified as having a big impact on deaths from heart disease and strokes. Alongside this are findings that antiseptic mouthwashes which by definition kill off bacteria do not discriminate between those types of bacteria which aid human life {good bacteria} and those that do not {bad bacteria}.

Raising blood pressure by less than 3.5 units is said to increase risk of dying from heart disease by 7% The effect of using Chlor-hexidine in the mouth kills microbes that are active in the production of nitrite. Nitrite helps blood vessels dilate correctly and the effect of the mouthwash is to see a drop of over 90% of nitrite production in the mouth and 25% in blood nitrite specifically. Not good at all.

Even mouthwashes not containing Chloro-hexidine are not blameless in this context it is asserted as a result of this study. It should be noted, that as may have been expected, that manufacturers are not convinced by this small study and point out that some products contain lower levels of Chlor-hexidine than others and that ,to date, their own research had not seen any causes for concerns in this area. Those involved in the study point out that whilst Chlor-hexidine is revealed as a big concern ,other types of mouthwashes kill of mouth bacterias and are thus potentially liable to produce similar adverse results.


I called Dan the Dentist to put him in the picture and to seek what I should, in his professional opinion, do forthwith. He explained suprise at the findings but mirrored one aspect of the findings of the study which advised people that those with mouth and / or gum infections should have no concern about taking mouthwashes. However, those without infections have no need for such washes and should cease their use of them as they will give no benefit but could cause the potential harm as explained.

Dan was convinced that his advice to me had been to take the mouthwash identified "for a short period". I have to say that bit was news to me but there you go. He still retains my trust and I use the toothpaste, but till infection strikes again, the mouthwashes stay firmly at the back of the bathroom cupboard. Assessing the findings, I think that has to be the most sensible way to go forward on this matter.


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