h2o2 gum?
October 2, 2012 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Is there a gum or chewable version of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash?

I love dilute hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, because it makes my breath fresh without masking it or adding a minty smell. Other mouthwashes work ok, but this one works the best for me.

However, carrying a bottle of hydrogen peroxide around for when the funk strikes during the day is impractical.

So, is there a gum or solid, or cousin of, hydrogen peroxide, that is both compact and drip-proof, and operates in a chemically similar way?

(not looking for flossing or brushing or other dental advice. I'm set there.)
posted by zippy to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Try looking for unflavored xylitol gum. My company has some Asian business contacts who send us goodies every now and then...one time we got some xylitol gum that was very, very mildly flavored (which is to say, if it had a flavor it wasn't recognizable as anything) and produced the effects you're looking for.
posted by phunniemee at 3:41 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not exactly the same things, but you can get spray bottles of peroxide at Walmart or CVS pharmacy and peroxide wipes at Target.

However, I will second xylitol gum. Xylitol actually kills stuff even though it is a type of sugar. (There are studies, which is why I used it for a time.)
posted by Michele in California at 3:51 PM on October 2, 2012

It seems to be an open question whether xylitol's effects are negative on gut flora. Not sure I'd go there.

If you find yourself needing to use mouthwash during the day - and I mean really need it, not an OCD like issue - you probably want to go see if you have some sort of tonsil crypt issue or gum disease or some other issue. That is not normal.
posted by rr at 4:21 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

It seems to be an open question whether xylitol's effects are negative on gut flora. Not sure I'd go there.

This is an excellent point. Chew sparingly. Too much and you'll get the runs (same as with cough drops).
posted by phunniemee at 4:33 PM on October 2, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you for the xylitol suggestions, however I'm looking for something with a similar method of action, as in an oxidizer-type thing, to h202.
posted by zippy at 4:54 PM on October 2, 2012

Response by poster: rr, I have hayfever that occasionally is out of control before the meds kick in. It can lead to sinusitis and bad breath. I'll save the "how do I treat this underlying condition better" for another question.
posted by zippy at 5:12 PM on October 2, 2012

ISTR some company marketing a gum with baking soda, which might offer a similar action to hydrogen peroxide. Never tried the stuff, though.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:54 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That sounds like something I'd want to try.
posted by zippy at 6:01 PM on October 2, 2012

Not a gum, but a powder that comes in convenient little packets that you mix with water: Amosan.

Unfortunately, it seems to be unavailable at present except possibly in Australia.
posted by Corvid at 6:24 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: 2n222, thanks to your comment I found that Arm & Hammer made a gum with baking soda, Arm and Hammer Dental Care Gum. It's out stock, and an internet search suggests it's discontinued.

If there are other products like this, I would like to try them.
posted by zippy at 7:52 PM on October 2, 2012

Please note that while H2O2 is seemingly touted by quakey folks everywhere, it has absolutely no demonstrated medical value in direct application whatsoever. It is also dangerous shit. You know those free radicals that you can buy overpriced pills or branded blueberries at Whole Foods to address with antioxidants? Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest and one of the strongest varieties of free radical, and biological systems like you are not built to handle that kind of chemistry, which is incidentally what makes it such a great disinfectant.

Essentially what happens is the H2O2 molecule exists in a state of equilibrium with its free radical form where it cuts in half from [H-O-O-H] into [H-O.] and [.O-H]. What you end up with is a powerful and small electron donor ready to fuck up your carefully built biological molecules in the same way that the same concentration of lye would, but there is an additional problem. Our bodies are only built to handle the kinds of chemical reactions where electrons are swapped around in pairs, while there is a whole bunch of really cool laboratory organic chemistry that needs peroxides in the solvent, our bodies can't do it. The problem is that, since all of the molecules in our bodies have a even number of electrons, when a lipid or protein or nucleic acid reacts with a peroxide in such a way as just one electron is added they get fucked up, and then become reactive in such a way as to pass the one electron to another biological molecule, which then also gets fucked up in the same way. What you end up with is a cascade of damaged stuff that generally can't be repaired and must be replaced. This isn't so bad except that all of the damaged proteins and lipids become actively toxic until they are found and addressed as well as the fact that you can't always replace the information encoded by DNA that gets fucked up, leading to secondary poisoning and cancer. Incidentally, what anti-oxidants actually are, is any compound capable of quenching this cascade by accepting the one electron and not passing it along. Benzene, the really toxic thing that is the smell of gasoline, is ironically the best anti-oxidant found so far and eating anti-oxidant rich foods has yet to be shown to actually meaningfully increase the anti-oxidant value of blood or any tissue, so blueberries with "Oxygen therapy" won't help you worth shit.

TL;DR, H2O2 is fundamentally toxic to all known forms of life and especially you, applying it to wounds has been shown to cause enough damage that it both slows healing and encourages infection. It is arguably not so bad to swish it around in your moth so long as you are careful to get it out because good technique is actually surprisingly effective and keeping you from ingesting swished liquids, hence the common habit you have picked up. However, you really don't want a gum because gums and chewable items provoke saliva production, which provokes swallowing, which gets the shit into you, which is not so great.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:00 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: FWIW, I am really not here to ask about clinical dental advice, but I wanted to address the potential toxicity of H202 in gum, because I'd be concerned about that.

However, Science! There have been clinical trials of H2O2 gums, and no one appears to have dropped dead. Here's one from the Journal of clinical periodontology ("... the gum-containing chlorhexidine in addition to the hydrogen peroxide releasing agent ...") and another ("by adding chlorhexidine acetate (CHX), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), or sucrose to experimental chewing gums").
posted by zippy at 11:10 AM on October 4, 2012

« Older a methy situation   |   Gauging recruiter reliability or effectiveness? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.