Mouthwash Use in General Population: Results from Adult Dental Health Survey in Grampian, Scotland

Tatiana MacFarlane, MM Kawecki, Claudia Cunningham, Iain Bovaird, R Morgan, K Kirstin Rhodes, R Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the pattern of mouthwash use and to investigate the associated factors in general population.

Material and Methods: An Adult Dental Health Survey was conducted on 3,022 residents of Grampian region of Scotland (adjusted participation rate 58.2%). Participants received a questionnaire consisting of questions on oral health and behavioural factors.

Results: The majority of participants (38.1%) have never used mouthwash, 17.5% used mouthwash less than once a month, 19.4% used mouthwash once every few days and 25.1% used mouthwash daily.

Prevalence of use decreased with age (P < 0.001). Woman were more likely to use mouthwash than men (P = 0.004). Mouthwash use decreased with decrease in the level of deprivation (P < 0.001). Never-smokers were less likely to use mouthwash (40.3%) compared to smokers (53.1%) or those who stopped smoking (46.5%) (P < 0.001). Mouthwash was used by smaller proportion of people drinking alcohol on daily basis (36.6%), than by abstainers (42.2%) (P = 0.012).

There was a positive relationship between flossing or brushing pattern and mouthwash use (P < 0.001). There was statistically significant relationship between mouthwash use and reasons for the last dental visit (P = 0.009).

When compared to healthy individuals, mouthwash was used by higher proportion of people reporting that they had gum disease (P = 0.001), ulcers (P = 0.001), oral infections or swelling (P = 0.002) or other problems (P = 0.025).

Conclusions: Mouthwash use in general population is associated with socio-demographic, health and behavioural factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Oral & Maxillofacial Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • mouthwashes
  • oral hygiene
  • dental plaque
  • epidemiology
  • dental heath survey
  • population groups


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