Why Does Listerine Burn- Main Reasons Behind It

You should be noticing a burning sensation if you have ever used Listerine or any other mouthwash in your mouth. There are a few people who will be informing you about what this burning sensation would mean and whether Listerine is working or not. However, this is not the reason. So, why does Listerine burn?

As a matter of fact, the burning sensation would mean that you are probably damaging your mouth. So today, we are going to answer a few of your queries about why do Listerine burns so much?



Why does Listerine burn? 

Before we dive into a few of the other issues with the mouthwash, let us start with an easy question: Why does Listerine burn my tongue?

Since Listerine is laden with chemicals, it causes a burning sensation as it includes the following:

  • Menthol
  • Thymol
  • Eucalyptol
  • Methyl salicylate

The ingredients that are mentioned above are mainly skin irritants. So, what happens if you drink Listerine? It would be best if you were not ingesting it. They will be sending the nerve endings into overdrive when they touch the skin. The gums and the side of your mouth are a few most sensitive areas of skin in your body which is why the burning sensation is increased when Listerine comes in contact with the rest. You may find that the burning sensation continues to be there long after you have finished swirling the mouthwash around your mouth if you have specifically sensitive skin.

Do not forget that these are just chemicals. They should not be in your mouth in the first place. As an outcome, there are a few potential chemicals that will be absorbed by the gums and other areas of your mouth. It has the potential to cause damage to your nerve endings. It would be damaging to the skin. However, it is not an experience that you would like to have. A few people with extremely sensitive skin had ended up having long-term damage when they used mouthwash products like Listerine. You would not wish to fall under a similar trap.


ReadWaking Up with Dry Mouth


Reasons Why Your Mouthwash Burns 

Why Does Listerine Burn

There are various reasons why the mouthwash will be burning:


There are antiseptic properties in alcohol. The main ingredient is several mouthwash formulas consisting of alcohol as it kills bacteria along with responsible for sanitizing the mouth.

Pure alcohol alone is not sufficient to kill bacteria as it leads to bad breath and gingivitis. Alcohol is one of the active ingredients that are present in a mouth rinse.

There are a few oral rinses that contain over 25% of alcohol. You would notice that the burning sensations start from your tongue when using an oral rinse with alcohol.

The taste buds on your tongue would be more sensitive to the feel and taste of alcohol than any other area in your mouth.



The other common mouthwash ingredient that is present is chlorhexidine. The ingredient is responsible for reducing plaque and helping to fight gingivitis.

It can also result from bringing burning and tingling sensations.

According to the FDA, it is documented that it is quite uncommon, leading to severe allergies for people with chlorhexidine.



There are a few people who are sensitive to menthol as it is the ingredient that is derived from peppermint or mint.

Some people would be experiencing serious burning instead of a pleasant tingling while they are using menthol mouthwash.


Essential Oils 

There are a few types of mouthwash that contain essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, clove, thyme, and spearmint. Clove oil has been used for about a hundred years for dental care, although it is no longer prominent among dentists. Several oils would have antimicrobial and antifungal properties affecting the bacteria in your mouth. A few people might be experiencing mild burning sensations as different people will be reacting differently to the oils. A few people may also have a few severe sensitivity reactions to the essential oils. Make sure that you carefully check out the labels and avoid products with troubling ingredients. It does not make them suitable for all just because these are natural ingredients.



Mouthwash that has the ingredients are only available through prescription. Chlorhexidine is specifically effective in controlling plaque and helps in reducing gum diseases. The ingredient would cause a burning sensation in several people. However, a few people would be sensitive and have few severe allergic reactions to chlorhexidine. It is also used for discoloring the teeth.


Dental problems 

Finally, people who have mouth ulcers, gingivitis, herpes lesions, or other active gum problems may experience burning and discomfort with nearly any type of mouthwash. Fixing the underlying problem generally reduces the burning sensation. Dry mouth, caused by disease or treatments, also makes your mouth more sensitive to chemicals that cause burning sensations.


Benefits of using Listerine

 Why Does Listerine Burn

Your mouth contains a quite delicate balance of both good and bad bacteria. Bad bacteria are the leading cause of tooth decay, gum diseases, and several other dental issues. Good bacteria work to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

You may start to have a few severe issues in your mouth when the bad bacterium starts to overwhelm for good. Killing the bad bacteria can help maintain a more healthy balance within your mouth.

Additionally, a few of the mouthwashes also offer additional benefits such as:

  • Hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil, and activated charcoal can whiten the teeth.
  • Booths and strengthens the teeth
  • Deters cavities that include fluoride
  • I am warding off gum diseases with formulations that contain eucalyptol, thymol, or menthol.
  • Getting rid of the bad breath.
  • Helps with dry socket following the extractions of tooth
  • Improves oral care after the treatments for oral cancer
  • Stimulates saliva production with symptoms of dry mouth.


ReadEssential Oil For Toothache



Below we share the FAQs related to the question “Why Does Listerine Burn”

1. What does it mean when your mouthwash stings? 

The mouth rinses mainly contain a higher concentration of alcohol, between 18 to 26%. There can be a burning sensation on your teeth, gums, and cheeks. Mouthwash will also cause burning by irritating the oral tissues leading to mouth sores.


2. Does burning mouthwash mean it is killing the germs?

Mouthwash does not contain enough alcohol to do so despite the fact that alcohol kills germs. Instead, it acts as a carrier of the other chemicals. Additionally, it causes your mouth to dry as the alcohol content in a few mouth rinses ranges from 18 to 26%.


3. Should mouthwash be used before going to bed?

It would help if you were rinsing before bedtime, along with rinsing your mouth with mouthwash in the morning. It prevents harmful oral bacteria from spreading throughout the night.


4. Why should you wait for 30 minutes after using mouthwash?

It would help if you waited for about half an hour before eating or drinking after washing. It has active components of the products that stay on your teeth for about half an hour so never wash it with drink, food, or by rinsing.


5. Should you rinse your mouth with water after using mouthwash?

No, you should not because if you rinse the mouthwash with water, you can eliminate the dental benefits your mouthwash offers. But, first, make sure that the product has sufficient time to work.


6. How many times should you use Listerine?

It would help if you used Listerine about two times daily after brushing your teeth.


7. Can Listerine be sprayed on your body?

Listerine will make your mouth appear fresh along with the rest of you, as you can use it as a deodorant. Use it a couple of times a day by just putting some of it in a spray bottle and spraying it under your arms, as you can put some on a cotton ball and rub them under the arms.


8. What happens when you use Listerine too much?

One of the primary ingredients present in mouthwash is mainly alcohol. Alcohol is responsible for destroying bacteria as it can lead to harming your gums and even your tongue and inner cheeks if it is overused. The alcohol in itself has drying properties as it absorbs the moisture from your mouth, causing the affected areas to dry out.


How to select the Right Mouthwash 

The most vital part of your oral care is using mouthwash as it does not contains any alcohol, causing burning and harmful effect on your mouth. You would want to select the kind of mouthwash which is the best for using in your regular oral hygiene program.

Selecting the right mouthwash and using it will not get the job done. We would all know that you need effective flossing and brushing to get the best results. Speak to your dentist and ask for alcohol-free mouthwash recommendations that will go best with the oral program satisfying your needs and the situation. So, why does Listerine burn?

Always make the informed choice for an alcohol-free mouthwash if you wish to improve your oral health. You will surely have a healthy mouth with that.


ReadWhy does my mouthwash burn?