Cosmetic dentists may be benefiting from the popularity of mouth washes, if the latest review from the Cochrane Library is anything to go by.
The review found that over-the-counter mouthwashes are effective at stopping bad breath, but that some products can cause temporary staining of the teeth.
Reviewers looked at the results of five separate trials involving 293 participants and found that antibacterial agents containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium are effective at reducing mouth odours.
"We found that antibacterial mouth rinses, as well as those containing chemicals that neutralise odours, are actually very good at controlling bad breath," confirmed lead researcher Zbys Fedorowicz, from the Ministry of Health in Bahrain.
However, the researchers also discovered that products containing chlorhexidine produced temporary but noticeable staining of the teeth and tongue.
The findings suggest that consumers should take care when selecting a mouth wash, or else they may need to seek professional tooth whitening.